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The longest game? Not a chance

Published Oct. 9, 2005

The Cardinals played 20 innings when they defeated Lakeland 4-3 in 20 innings last Tuesday, but the marathon was still a ways from the league record. The Cardinals hold the record for longest game by innings at 29 versus Miami on June 29, 1966. Tuesday's contest ended at 12:18 a.m. when Dan Cholowsky, who was 0-for-6 with two walks, had the game-winning single.

The Cardinals must like spending their time at the ballpark. On Sunday, May 30, versus Charlotte in the second game of a doubleheader (which is supposed to be seven innings), they played 16 innings en route to a 5-4 win. That game ended at 12:08 a.m.

OF Doug Radziewicz, currently leading the league in hitting at .368, was batting .233 in St. Petersburg this time last year. The Cardinals finished last season with a .233 batting average. This year, they are hitting at a .275 clip. In their last five games, the Cardinals have beaten the division leaders (St. Lucie, Lakeland and Clearwater) five straight times, placing them 5{ games behind Western Division leader Clearwater with nine games left in the first half of the season. They will play Clearwater twice before the first half is over.

Clearwater: The Phillies are down to a four-man rotation after the promotion of starter Craig Brown to Class AA Reading. Brown led the league in wins with eight, finishing with a 2.94 ERA with just 11 walks through 67 innings. OF David Tokheim, batting .329, also was promoted Reading, leaving the Phillies with 22 players on the roster. Tokheim had hit in six straight games, going 11-for-26 before the promotion.

RHP Jamie Sepeda, the Phillies' fourth-round draft pick out Stanford, won his last three games, carrying a 1.33 ERA. In his last 40 innings spanning five starts, Sepeda is averaging eight innings pitched and less than two runs per game. 1B Jon Zuber had his 15-game hitting streak, second longest in the league, snapped against St. Petersburg last week.

C Jason Moler is hitting .412 in his last 10 games. IF David Hayden has a six-game hitting streak, going 10-for-26. 2B Mike Gomez is 8 for his last 23 at-bats. The Phillies lead the league with a .283 average and 303 runs scored.

Dunedin: OF Rob Butler is fifth in the league in batting at .333. Through his last 17 games, he is hitting .378. Reliever Kurt Heble has allowed just one earned run in his last 15 games while collecting three wins and one save. OF Rick Holifield reached a career high in homers with nine, which is second-best in the league.

Last week, OF Todd Steverson, a former Arizona State standout and the Blue Jays' No. 1 pick last year, hit a home run that hit the top of the scoreboard at Dunedin Stadium, estimated at 460 feet. The following night, Steverson stole second and scored when the throw by the catcher went into centerfield.

The Blue Jays lead the league in homers with 38 and are second in batting average and runs scored to Clearwater with .281 and 297 respectively. Right-handed starter Chris Kotes, out for a month with tightness in his back, pitched batting practice Thursday. If he feels up to it, he will pitch in a simulated game this week and could be back in a few weeks.