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Game Notes: Memphis Redbirds (17-15) vs Iowa Cubs (22-10)

May 8, 2019 - Pacific Coast League (PCL) - Memphis Redbirds News Release

Memphis Redbirds (17-15) vs Iowa Cubs (22-10)

Wednesday, May 8 - 11:35 a.m. (CT) - AutoZone Park (10,000) - Memphis, Tennessee

Game #33 - Home Game #13 (6-6)

LHP Austin Gomber (4-0, 2.97) vs RHP Trevor Clifton (1-0, 1.08)

BY THE NUMBERS

11.2 Consecutive scoreless innings tossed by Anthony Shew in his first two career Triple-A starts.

29 Runs driven in by Adolis Garcia this season. That figure ranks T-5th in the Pacific Coast League and leads the Redbirds.

THE GAME

TODAY'S GAME: The Memphis Redbirds look to even up the series against the American Northern division leading Iowa Cubs today in the second of a four-game set to begin an eight-game homestand. Anthony Shew was stellar in his second career Triple-A start, tossing 6.0 scoreless frames, allowing just one hit while fanning a season-high eight. Today's game will be broadcast live on www.memphisredbirds.com with Steve Selby on the call.

ON THE HILL: Left-hander Austin Gomber is scheduled to take the mound tonight for the Redbirds and make his third home start and seventh start overall. In his last time out, Thursday at New Orleans, Gomber won his third consecutive start, tossing 5.0 innings and allowing three runs on seven hits while striking out a seven. He has not allowed just three earned runs in his last 18.0 innings pitched and has won nine straight decisions with the Redbirds. On April 20 vs. Round Rock, Gomber tossed a complete-game shutout in the nightcap of the doubleheader against the Express. It was the first complete-game shutout tossed by a Memphis starter since Daniel Ponce de Leon on July 15, 2018 at Omaha (9 inn.). It is one of just two complete-game shutout performances in the Pacific Coast League this season. Following that performance, Gomber was named PCL Pitcher of the Week for April 15-21. In 2018, Gomber went 2-0, 0.00 (0 ER/13.0 IP) against the Cubs and matched a Memphis franchise record with 16 strikeouts on the road on April 23.

The Cubs are scheduled to start right-hander Trevor Clifton today. The 23-year-old is scheduled to make his fifth start of the season and his sixth appearance overall. In his last time out on May 1 vs. San Antonio, Clifton earned his first win of the season (5.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R/ER, 0 BB, 8 SO, 1 HR) in the Cubs' 3-2 victory over the Missions in the nightcap of the doubleheader. That marked the longest outing of Clifton's season, as he had just worked more than 3.0 innings just twice. That was also the first time allowing runs this season, having worked 11.2 consecutive scoreless frames to open his 2019 campaign. Clifton split 2018 between Triple-A Iowa and Double-A Tennessee, going 7-7, 3.43 (48 ER/126.0 IP). The Maryville, Tenn., native is in his seventh professional season, spending all of them with the Chicago organization. He entered the season ranked at the No. 28 prospect in the Cubs system according to Baseball America.

HISTORY WITH IOWA: Memphis has faced off against Iowa every year since 1998 and lead 167-136 in the all-time series. In those 21 seasons, the Redbirds have a winning record against the Sounds in 11 seasons and have a losing record in just one season (2015) since 2013. The Redbirds posted their best record against the Cubs last season, going 14-2 overall, 6-2 at AutoZone Park and a whopping 8-0 on the road at Principal Park in Des Moines, Iowa.

Memphis has winning records here in downtown Memphis in 17 seasons and has lost two home games each year to the Cubs since 2016. They have not had a losing record at home to the Cubs since 2012. Overall, they lead the series in the Bluff City with a 98-53 advantage.

THE SEASON

ABOUT THE LAST ONE: After leading 4-0, the Memphis Redbirds (17-15) fell behind by two, then rallied to load the bases with one out in the bottom of the ninth but could not finish the comeback in a 6-5 defeat to the Iowa Cubs (Cubs) in the series opener Tuesday night at AutoZone Park.

The win is Iowa's (22-10) eighth-straight.

The Redbirds took a 4-0 lead after three innings on the strength of an Adolis Garcia grand slam, his ninth home run of the season, while Anthony Shew was dealing on the mound. Through 6.0 innings, Shew allowed just one Iowa hit and struck out eight.

In 11.2 innings in two starts to start his Triple-A career, Shew has not allowed a run and has surrendered just four hits.

As the Redbirds bullpen entered, Iowa began to chip away. The Cubs scored twice off Chasen Shreve in the top of the seventh, then four times against Jesus Cruz in the top of the eighth to make the score 6-4.

Joe Hudson launched a homer leading off the bottom of the eighth to make the score 6-5, and Ryan Meisinger entered and struck out the Iowa side in the top of the ninth.

The home-half started off well for Memphis, with John Nogowski and Tyler O'Neill leading off the frame with back-to-back singles. After a Garcia flyout, Max Schrock added a single of his own to load the bases with one out.

But Ramon Urias grounded into a fielder's choice to third that erased Nogowski at the plate, and Hudson flew out to end the game.

O'Neill finished 3-for-4, and every other Redbirds starting position player had one hit.

The Redbirds left 12 men on base in the game, including multiple runners in four innings.

SHEW SHINES: In his first two career Triple-A starts, Anthony Shew has not allowed a run in 11.2 innings and has allowed just four hits in 39 at-bats (.103). In last night's series opener, Shew delivered his first quality start at the Triple-A level, tossing 6.0 scoreless frames and allowing a season-low one hit while fanning a season-high eight. The Bookings, Ore., native has not allowed a run in 17.2 innings across all levels and has allowed one earned run or fewer in all seven of his outings in 2019 overall.

O'NEILL RETURNS: In his first Triple-A appearance of the season on Sunday, Tyler O'Neill launched two, two-run home runs in the first game of the doubleheader. It was his first multi-HR game of the year and was the second Redbird to homer twice in a game this season. O'Neill blasted another two-run shot in Monday's contest and ranks T-3rd on the team with three home runs in four games. In last night's series opener against Iowa, O'Neill collected his first three-hit game of the season. The 23-year-old led the Redbirds in 2018 with 26 HR and six multi-HR games.

OFFENSIVE OUTBURST: In Friday night's series opener against Nashville, the Memphis Redbirds set numerous season-highs, and matched a couple of franchise records in their 17-2 rout of the Sounds. The 24 hits matched a franchise record and was also the most hits in a Pacific Coast League game this season. Their 10 hits in the second inning matched a franchise record for most in a single frame. The 'Birds set season-highs in, runs, hits and total bases and matched a season-high with eight extra-base hits.

APRIL RECAP: The Redbirds finished April with a 13-12 record, going 6-5 at AutoZone Park and 7-7 on the road. Since 2017, the Redbirds have posted a losing record in a month just once, August 2018, going 13-16 overall, 8-10 at home and 5-6 away. That is also the only time during that span that the 'Birds had losing records at home or away.

The 28 home runs slugged by the Redbirds ranks T-3rd for home runs in April, matching the 2014 team in that category. They fell just one home run shy of matching the 2017 Redbirds for 2nd most home runs in April. The franchise record is 34, held by the 2000 club.

MR. APRIL: On April 22, LHP Austin Gomber was named the Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Week for April 15-21 following his complete-game shutout on Saturday in the second game of the doubleheader against Round Rock. Gomber allowed just three hits in his outing and faced the minimum over the final five innings. In his first six starts of the season, Gomber is 4-0, 2.97 (11 ER/33.1 IP) to go along with 37 strikeouts.

In April 2018, Gomber also won PCL Pitcher of the Week for April 23-29 and was also named Cardinals Minor League Pitcher of the Month as well. In his last two Aprils, Gomber is 5-0, 2.50 (15 ER/54.0 IP) in nine starts and has held opponents to a .214 batting average (41x192).

CLUTCH HITTING: Edmundo Sosa delivered the Redbirds first walk-off victory of the season on April 21 vs. Round Rock with his two-run shot in the 10th. With runners in scoring position, Sosa is 15-for-30 (.500) with three doubles, a home run and 16 RBI. With runners in scoring position and two outs, Sosa ranks 2nd on the team with a .643 average (9x14) and leads the team nine RBI.

Sosa has the second-highest batting average in the Pacific Coast League with runners in scoring position (min. 30 AB).

In Friday's contest against Nashville, Sosa set a career-high with five RBI, four of which came with two outs.

EXTRA! EXTRA!: The Redbirds have recorded at least one extra-base hit in every game this season, collecting 62 doubles, nine triples and 38 home runs. Adolis Garcia holds the team lead with 15 extra-base hits with for four doubles, two triples and nine home runs.

After Garcia's home run Thursday, the Redbirds 27-game run of having at least one extra-base hit surpassed the 2018 Redbirds mark of 26 consecutive games with at least one extra-base hit.

TRIPLE THREAT: Through his first 22 starts of the season, Tommy Edman has nine multi-hit games, including five, three-hit performances, April 12 at San Antonio, April 13 at Round Rock, April 17 vs. San Antonio, April 26 at Omaha and last night at Nashville. His team-high 10-game hitting streak came to end on April 21, but he has reached safely in 20 of 24 contests. His 33 hits and nine doubles are most among the current Redbirds roster.

In Sosa's first 22 starts, he has matched Edman's multi-hit game total (9) and has three-hit performances on April 15 at Round Rock, April 17 vs. San Antonio and Friday at Nashville. Sosa ranks T-2nd on the team with a .333 batting average and 17 RBI.

Not to be out-done, Andrew Knizner also has eight multi-hit gmaes. Knizner had his season-high eight-game hitting streak come to an end Tuesday, but has hits in 17 of 22 games. He ranks 6th on the team with a .317 batting average.

The trio has combined for 90 hits, which accounts for 30.6 percent of all the Redbirds hits this season, 42 runs (22.3 percent), 30 extra-base hits and 44 RBI.

WALKING IN MEMPHIS: After matching a season-high nine walks in the second game of their doubleheader on April 20, the Memphis Redbirds rank 6th in the Pacific Coast League with 127 walks through 32 games. The Redbirds' .361 on-base percentage also ranks 6th in the PCL. John Nogowski holds the team lead by drawing 23 free passes, which also ranks T-3rd in the PCL.

WALK IT OFF: The Redbirds walk-off defeat to the Missions on April 9 was the first time since Aug. 5, 2017 that the Redbirds had lost in such fashion. The following night, it marked the first time since June 23-24, 2014 that the Redbirds had lost consecutive games in the last at-bat of the game. The three walk-off defeats this season have already surpassed last year's total.

CAUGHT IN A STORM: The Redbirds' 11-run defeat on April 8 marked the first time that Redbirds lost by 11 runs or more since June 16, 2018, when the Redbirds fell 13-1 at El Paso. Additionally, Omaha's 12-run second was the first time since May 12, 2016 against the Storm Chasers, that the Redbirds had given up more than 10 runs in an inning.

Elier Hernandez and Nick Dini became the first two opponents to hit back-to-back home runs against the Redbirds since May 8, 2017 and Hernandez became the first player to post a 6 RBI against Memphis since June 9, 2018.

FIRST NO MORE: Following Memphis' defeat on April 6, the Redbirds fell out of first place for the first time since April 28, 2017. It also marked the first time since April 27, 2017 that their record fell below the .500 mark. The Redbirds played the final 120 games of the 2017 season in first place, and played all 140 games of 2018 in first place. They had been in first place for the 708 calendar days, playing 262 regular-season games and 20 playoff games in that span.

The Redbirds entered April 7 in T-3rd place in the division, which marked the first time since April 12, 2016, that they had fallen out of the top two spots in the standings.


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