The St. Petersburg Cardinals, mired in a severe scoring slump of late, thought they had busted out of their offensive woes with a 12-run effort on Wednesday. But Thursday's game against Charlotte proved otherwise.
The Cardinals returned to their slumping ways by picking up just three hits and losing 2-0 to the Rangers on Thursday night at Al Lang Stadium.
It was the sixth time in the last 16 games St. Petersburg has been shut out and the 15th time in the last 18 games the Cardinals have scored two runs or less.
By being shut out Thursday, the Cardinals once again wasted a fine pitching performance. St. Petersburg starter Rick Shackle yielded just two runs and six hits over seven innings. He struck out five. Reliever Chris Gorton struggled in the eighth and ninth innings but did not give up a run.
The Rangers broke a scoreless tie in the third inning when Timmie Morrow tripled and scored on Craig Newkirk's sacrifice fly. They added an insurance run in the fifth inning when Cris Colon singled, moved to third on Kenneth Powell's single and scored on Morrow's groundout.
The Cardinals and Rangers will complete their four-game series tonight at Al Lang Stadium. Game time is 8 p.m. At 7, the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce will play a team from radio station WYNF.
Rain washes out games
The Clearwater Phillies and the Dunedin Blue Jays both were rained out in separate games Thursday night.
Clearwater was scheduled to play at Lakeland. The game will be made up as part of a doubleheader tonight in Lakeland. The first game starts at 6 p.m.
Dunedin and Winter Haven played one inning, with Winter Haven leading 2-1 before their game was suspended. The two teams will square off tonight in a twi-night affair in Dunedin. The suspended game will begin at 6 p.m., followed by the second game. Baseball clown Max Patkin will be in Dunedin to perform at the games.