It was not the homecoming Palm Beach was looking for on Tuesday night as the Cardinals fell to the visiting Daytona Tortugas 5-2.
Alex Reyes got the start for Palm Beach for the second time in 2019 and was flashing his pitch speed variation all night. He got two strikeouts in the first inning on 98 MPH fastballs and showed off his curveball in the high 70's to get other batters to chase later in his start. In all, Reyes allowed just one earned run (three total) in his 4 ⅓ innings on the mound. The 24-year-old allowed seven hits and just one walk while striking out five.
After returning home following a seven game road trip, the Cardinals wasted no time getting on the board in the first inning putting up a two spot on the board. Justin Toerner got the frame started with a single followed by a Zach Kirtley walk. 2019 Florida State League All-Star catcher Julio Rodriguez hit a one-out single to load the bases and the Yariel Gonzalez, who was the next hitter to the plate, brought a run home with an RBI single. Luken Baker continued the rally with a sacrifice fly bringing home the second runner of the inning, and what would turn out to be, the final Palm Beach run of the night.
Off of Reyes, Daytona tied the game at two in the the third on a one-out RBI triple off the bat of Drew Mount. Reyes proceeded to get Jonathan India out on strikes but allowed a two-out RBI single to Alejo Lopez.
After Reyes departed the game with runners on first and second and one out, CJ Saylor came in relief and immediately induced a fly out to short center field not allowing the runners to advance. With two outs in the frame, Stuart Fairchild hit a go-ahead RBI single to left making it a 3-2 game.
With two outs in the top of the ninth, Daytona scored two insurance runs courtesy of Jonathan India's two-run homer to make it a 5-2 game which would be the eventual final
Palm Beach, who led the league in hitting heading into Tuesday's game, were unable to score at all in the final eight innings, recording just three hits in that span.
Yariel Gonzalez recorded the only multi-hit game for Palm Beach going 2-4. Justin Toerner, Zach Kirtley, Scott Hurst, and Julio Rodriguez each had one hit in the loss.
Out of the 'pen, CJ Saylor threw a scoreless inning and Eli Kraus tossed 1 ⅔ scoreless frames of his own.
The teams will meet again tomorrow for a 6:30 PM first pitch from Jupiter. Tickets and more info can be found at Rogerdeanchevroletstadium.com
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.