Arquimedes Nieto (1-1, 3.00 ERA) earned his first win of the season for Palm Beach in just his second game, first since suffering the loss April 9. Nieto, who spent more than two months on the disabled list until being activated Sunday, allowed just one hit and a walk through two innings of relief while striking out three. The right-hander went 9-7 with a 3.44 ERA in six starts for the Cardinals last season.
Xavier Scruggs began the second inning of game two by extending his on-base streak to 26 games the hard way, taking a pitch to the back before coming all the way around to score on a subsequent RBI-triple from Rainel Rosario. Edgar Lara later capped the frame with a one-out sacrifice fly to put the Cards on top 2-0.
Adam Melker drew a one-out walk the following inning before Alan Ahmady struck a sharp double down the right field line that scored the speedy center-fielder all the way from first. Niko Vasquez connected on his second homer of the season, a solo shot, in the fourth to give Palm Beach a 4-1 lead after Jupiter had scratched across a run in the third on a RBI-double from Jose Torres.
The Hammerheads added another run in the fourth thanks to a RBI-single from catcher Taylor Krick, wrapping up the line on starter Tyler Lyons. Lyons, a 9th round pick out of Oklahoma State University last year, went four innings and allowed two earned runs off five hits in his first professional start. The left-hander, who also struck out five while not issuing a walk, had mad 21 appearances out of the bullpen thus far in 2011.
Neither team could put together much offense after the fourth inning, as relievers Bryan Evans and A.J. Ramos tossed scoreless innings for Jupiter while Nieto and Keith Butler kept the Hammerheads at bay. Butler struck out the side in the seventh for his second save of the year.
Rosario led the Cardinals with two hits, a RBI and a run scored and finished a double shy of the doubleheader cycle after going 2-for-3 with a homer in game one. Luis De La Cruz went 0-for-3 but did throw out two potential base-stealers, now catching nine-of-19 on the year.
Southpaw Edgar Olmos (2-8, 4.79 ERA) suffered the loss for Jupiter in his 15th start of the year.
Right-hander Joe Kelly (3-2, 2.70 ERA) will make his first official appearance since June 7 in the series finale tomorrow night against righty Matt Montgomery (3-4, 3.18 ERA) for the Hammerheads. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. before the Cardinals take to the road for three with the Bradenton Marauders beginning Wednesday.
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.