Baez Homers Twice, Cardinals Crush Mussels
Joshua Baez set the tone early. In just the second at-bat of the bottom of the first, the 19-year-old lifted a hanging slider deep to left field for a two-run homer. Driving in Victor Scott after a leadoff walk, Baez's big fly registered at 109.2 miles per hour off the
Joshua Baez set the tone early.
In just the second at-bat of the bottom of the first, the 19-year-old lifted a hanging slider deep to left field for a two-run homer. Driving in Victor Scott after a leadoff walk, Baez's big fly registered at 109.2 miles per hour off the bat.
In a foreshadowing of the night to come, the Cardinals put their pedal to the metal after dropping the initial quartet of games in the series against the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels, handing the Minnesota Twins affiliate a 14-2 defeat Saturday night at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium.
SAVE. THAT. BALL.— Palm Beach Cardinals (@GoPBCardinals) August 20, 2022
Joshua Baez with his first Single-A home run, a two-run 💣 to left in the first!
3-0 #BeachBirds after an inning! pic.twitter.com/54l1De0Fn0
After Chris Rotondo made it 3-0 later in the first inning, Baez once again stepped to the plate with a runner on base in the third, and once again, he homered to left to make it 5-0 Palm Beach.
OOPS, HE DID IT AGAIN!— Palm Beach Cardinals (@GoPBCardinals) August 20, 2022
Another two-run 💣 from Baez in the third, and your #BeachBirds take a 5-0 lead! pic.twitter.com/cU3z4L0yQQ
An inning later, third baseman RJ Yeager singled on a soft ground ball, before Fort Myers' pitcher Tomas Cleto committed a throwing error which scored all Cardinals baserunners and blew the contest open.
So the @LittleLeague World Series is going on...how about a Little League triple!— Palm Beach Cardinals (@GoPBCardinals) August 20, 2022
This single E1 off the bat of Yeager scores a trio and this game has been blown wide open!
8-0 #BeachBirds after 4⃣ pic.twitter.com/lkHPrMV6Wr
Palm Beach's offensive onslaught continued in the fifth inning, with RBI from Leonardo Bernal and Darlin Moquete before the right fielder Baez drove in his fifth run of the night on a double.
Baez--a Boston, Mass. native taken in the 2nd Round of the 2021 Major League Baseball Draft--made his full-season Minor League debut for Palm Beach in May 17. However, he suffered an injury after just one bat-bat, and would not return to Single-A action until August 16. Making his fourth start of the week, the right-handed power bat recorded 10 total bases while going 3-5 overall in Saturday's win.
Pinch hitter Jose Zapada would add an RBI single in the sixth inning before Fort Myers finally got on the scoreboard in the seventh. Yeager logged his second RBI single on Saturday in the home half of the seventh before the Mussels added another run in the eighth.
While Baez stole the show, all Palm Beach batters reached base in the win. Yeager, Nathan Church, Rotondo, and Bernal all went 2-5, while the leadoff hitter Scott drew a trio of walks. Trent Baker tossed six and 1/3 inning on the mound, and the starting pitcher earned his eighth win of 2022. Angel Cuenca and Matt Hickey each solicited work out of the bullpen. Neither surrendered earned runs.
For Saturday's final box score, click here.