Rosario Hits Two First-Inning Home Runs In 10-8 Win
JUPITER, Fla. - Rainel Rosario hit two first-inning home runs and finished 4-for-5 with four RBI in a 10-8 Palm Beach Cardinals (2-4) victory over the Charlotte Stone Crabs (3-3) Tuesday night at Roger Dean Stadium.
Rosario, who came into the game with just two hits in 17 at-bats, took the first pitch from Stone Crabs' starter Frank De Los Santos in the bottom of the first deep to center for his 17th career home run, tying the game at 1-1. The hit sparked a remarkable eight-run first inning for the Cardinals, a team that had struck out 55 times in the first 45 innings of 2011 and came into the game hitting a combined .207.
Edgar Lara followed Rosario's leadoff blast with a one-out, two-run homer of his own to put Palm Beach on top 3-1. After a couple singles, a walk and a groundout, Ronald Ramirez delivered a two-run single that kept the inning alive for the leadoff hitter to return to bat. With two men on and two outs, Rosario duplicated his swing from earlier in the frame and drove a 1-2 pitch over the left field wall, capping a nine-hit, eight-run first inning.
The Cardinals would end up needing every bit of that early scoring burst as the Stone Crabs methodically chipped away at the lead off starting pitcher Justin Smith. Smith ended up lasting four innings, allowing eight hits and six earned runs until being relieved by Jose Rada (2-0, 3.18 ERA) with a 9-6 lead.
Rada took the Cardinals into the eighth inning, giving up four hits and two earned runs along the way but still preserving the lead. Aaron Terry came in to record the final out of the frame and finished the job in the ninth to record his first save.
Rosario finished with four hits, four RBI and two runs scored to highlight the Cardinals' first home win of the season. A 22-year-old native of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Rosario is in his fifth professional season in the Cardinals organization after being signed to play in the Dominican Summer League in 2006.
Zack Cox went 3-for-5 with a RBI, Lara recorded three RBI and Travis Tartamella had a pair of hits for Palm Beach. Left-fielder Adam Melker was the only starter not to record at least one hit for the Cardinals.
Palm Beach will host Charlotte in the rubber game of the three-game set tomorrow night at 6:35 p.m. at Roger Dean Stadium. Right-hander Shelby Miller, rated as the No. 1 prospect in the organization, will make his home debut against right-hander Alex Colome for Charlotte.
For more information on the Palm Beach Cardinals, Class-A Advanced affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals, please call (561) 775-1818 or visit www.palmbeachcardinals.com. For tickets and more information regarding Roger Dean Stadium, please visit www.rogerdeanstadium.com.
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