Thursday, June 30, 2011

Wrapping it up: Cardinals 9, Marauders 3

THE STORY: Niko Vasquez (above) hit two home runs, including an eighth-inning grand slam, to lead the Cardinals to a 9-3 win and draw them even with the Marauders for first place in the FSL South Division.

Cardinals' pitcher Carlos Martinez, 19, went six innings to earn the win in his FSL debut. Ranked the St. Louis Cardinals' third-best prospect by Baseball America, Martinez went six innings, allowing two runs on four hits. He struck out seven, walked four and hit two batters.

Jarek Cunningham homered, his team-best 14th, and Carlos Paulino and Bengie Gonzalez also drove in runs for Bradenton.

THE RECORD: The Marauders are 6-2 in the second half and 36-42 overall.

THE STAR OF THE GAME: Vasquez is an easy pick. The 22-year-old third baseman was taken by the Cardinals during the third round of the 2008 draft, and began the day batting .212 in 27 games with Palm Beach. He now has four home runs and 14 RBIs on the season.

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