Cardinals Take Down Stone Crabs in Offensive Shootout
Jupiter, FL - The Palm Beach Cardinals put on a hitting clinic at Roger Dean Stadium on Saturday night, outlasting the Charlotte Stone Crabs 13-9 to take two of three in the series. The Cardinals (8-8) went 2-4 during the homestand and will have an off day on Sunday.
Starlin Rodriguez continued to swing a hot bat for Palm Beach, going 3-for-5 with a home run, a double, three RBI, and three runs. His third home run in two games put the Cardinals ahead 13-7 in the seventh inning, putting the game out of reach for the Stone Crabs.
The heart of the Cardinals order was lethal in the game. Rodriguez, Breyvic Valera, Jacob Wilson, and Nick Martini combined to go 11-for-20 with eight RBI and seven runs to pace the offense.
Charlie Tilson also chipped in a pair of runs and a hit to extend his on-base streak to 16 straight games - the longest active streak in the Florida State League.
Charlotte (5-11) started the scoring with three runs in the first inning off Palm Beach starter Cory Jones. The Cardinals answered with a pair of runs in the same inning. With the bases loaded and nobody out, Wilson lined a two-RBI double to center to make it 3-2.
The teams traded two more runs in the second. Rodriguez ripped his first hit of the night - a double to left - to plate Tilson, and Valera sent Rodriguez the rest of the way home with his second single of the evening.
Martini led off the third inning with a triple and scampered home on a David Washington groundout to even the score at 5-5.
After falling behind 7-5, the Cardinals started the fifth inning with four straight hits, including back-to-back triples by Martini and Matt Williams to put four more runs on the board.
The Cardinals' three triples were the most for the team in a single game this season.
Ildemaro Vargas got in on the hit parade with a two-RBI double in the seventh inning before Rodriguez went deep to give Palm Beach the 13-7 advantage.
The Stone Crabs put up two more runs on Iden Nazario before the night was over, but Sam Tuivailala closed the door with 1.2 shutout innings to end the game. Tuivailala struck out three batters en route to his first save of the season.
Jones struggled to find the strike zone early for the Cardinals, walking six batters in 3.2 innings of work. He allowed seven runs on five hits on the night.
Corey Baker (2-0) came in for Jones in the fourth inning and surrendered just one hit in 3.1 scoreless innings while fanning four to pick up the win.
Marcus Jensen (2-1) gave up five runs on four hits in relief of Leonel Santiago and was charged with the loss for Charlotte.
The Cardinals will get Sunday off before traveling to Port St. Lucie on Monday for the first of a two-game set with the Mets. LH Kyle Helisek (0-1, 0.71) will start for Palm Beach against RH Luis Cessa (0-2, 3.27) for St. Lucie. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.
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Florida State League Stories from April 19, 2014
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