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Baez Homers Twice, Cardinals Crush Mussels

Cardinals' Win Streak Snapped by Daytona

August 20, 2022 – Florida State League (FSL)Palm Beach Cardinals News Release

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.

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.

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.

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.

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