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Game Notes: Memphis Redbirds (20-18) vs Nashville Sounds (13-24)

May 14, 2019 - Pacific Coast League (PCL) - Memphis Redbirds News Release

Memphis Redbirds (20-18) vs Nashville Sounds (13-24)

Tuesday, May 14 - 11:05 a.m. (CT) - AutoZone Park (10,000) - Memphis, Tennessee

Game #39 - Home Game #19 (8-10)

RHP Jake Woodford (2-0, 2.04) vs LHP Wes Benjamin (1-4, 9.45)

BY THE NUMBERS

1.7 Average margin of defeat in the Redbirds three losses to the Sounds this season. In their four wins, they have won by an average of 7.8 runs.

52 Number of batters struck out by Austin Gomber this season. That figure ranks 2nd in the Pacific Coast League. The lefty has recorded 30 punch outs in his last four starts.

THE GAME

TODAY'S GAME: The Memphis Redbirds look to clinch a series victory against the Nashville Sounds today in the final game of this four-game set. A win would also mean the Redbirds finish their eight-game homestand with a 4-4 record before they embark on a 10-day, nine-game road trip. Austin Gomber tossed his fourth quality game of the season and matched a season-high eight strikeouts in yesterday's contest. Today's game will be broadcast live on www.memphisredbirds.com with Steve Selby on the call.

ON THE HILL: Right-hander Jake Woodford is scheduled to take the mound in today's homestand finale and make his eighth start of the season. Woodford last took the mound on Thursday vs. Iowa, taking no-decision for the second straight start, tossing 5.0 innings and allowing a season-high four runs while yielding just three hits and fanning four. Woodford allowed his first multi-HR game of the year, giving up a pair of two-run shots. He has one start against the Sounds this season on May 3, coming just one out away from qualifying for the win, as he was backed by a 14-run performance en route to the 'Birds' 17-2 victory. He is currently holding opposing batters to a .170 (23x135) average, which ranks 2nd in the Pacific Coast League among qualifiers. Woodford is even stingier against right-handed batters, holding them to just a .154 (12x78) average. He also ranks 3rd in the PCL with a 2.04 ERA and has allowed one earned run or fewer in five of his seven outings. The St. Petersburg, Fla., is currently ranked as the No. 24 prospect in the Cardinals organization by MLB.com.

The Sounds are slated to start left-hander Wes Benjamin today to close out their road trip. The 25-year-old is scheduled to make his eighth start of the season and his fourth road start. In his last time out on Thursday at Oklahoma City, Benjamin took no-decision (5.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R/ER, 3 BB, 3 SO) in the Sounds' 7-3 defeat to the Dodgers. Through his first seven career Triple-A starts, Benjamin has gone 1-4, 9.45 (28 ER/26.2 IP) and has yet to complete 6.0 innings pitched. Benjamin has failed to reach the 3.0 innings mark three times this season, including lasting just 2.2 innings in his Triple-A debut on April 6 vs. Iowa. In his lone start against the Redbirds this season on May 3, Benjamin allowed nine runs on nine hits in just 1.2 innings pitched, matching a season-low. The Winfield, Ill., native has allowed at least four runs in five outings and opponents currently hold a .351 average (39x111) against. Benjamin spent the whole 2018 at Double-A Frisco, where he went 5-6, 3.62 (32 ER/79.2 IP) in 15 G/GS. The University of Kansas product is in his fifth professional season, spending them all with the Texas organization.

HISTORY WITH NASHVILLE: Memphis has faced off against Nashville every year since 1998 and trail 160-180 in the all-time series. In those 21 seasons, the Redbirds have a winning record against the Sounds in just six seasons, the most recent coming in 2017. This year marks the first that the Sounds are the Rangers' top-affiliate, after spending the last four seasons as the Athletics' Triple-A club. The Redbirds went 8-8 against the Rangers' Triple-A affiliate (Round Rock) in 2018 and a dominant 14-2 in 2017. Their overall record against the Texas Triple-A affiliate is 158-176.

Memphis a winning record at AutoZone Park in just three seasons against the Sounds, the most recent coming in 2014 (5-3). Prior to that year, the last time the Redbirds had a winning record here in downtown Memphis against their in-state rivals was in 2005 (6-2).

THE SEASON

ABOUT THE LAST ONE: Tommy Edman was 3-for-5 with a home run, Andrew Knizner had two doubles, and Lane Thomas tripled, but the Nashville Sounds (Rangers) topped the Memphis Redbirds Monday afternoon at AutoZone Park, 5-3.

Despite that extra-base success, the Redbirds (20-18) were 2-for-15 with runners in scoring position and left nine men on base. With a 3-1 lead in the third inning, Memphis left a runner on third base in the third-through-sixth innings and a runner on second in the seventh and eighth.

Austin Gomber matched a season high with eight strikeouts in 7.0 strong innings on the mound. He scattered seven hits, but one was a two-run home run that tied the game at 3 in the fifth. Gomber struck out the side in the fourth and sixth innings, and he needed only 10 pitches to turn the trick in the fourth.

Nashville (13-24) took a 4-3 lead in the eighth inning without a hit, as Delino DeShields walked, went to second on a sacrifice bunt, stole third, and then scored on a sac fly.

The Sounds added another run in the ninth via a leadoff home run to widen the gap to 5-3. The Redbirds went down in order in the bottom of the ninth to end the ballgame.

Rangel Ravelo's hitting streak moved to six games with a 1-for-3 showing. Ramon Urias' eight-game streak ended, but he did reach base on an error and score a run.

RAVELO HEATING UP: After hitting a career-low .173 (13x75) in the month of April at the Triple-A level, Rangel Ravelo has gotten off to a hot start in May, going 17-for-39 (.436) in his first 11 games of the month. Ravelo already has three, three-hit games this month, compared to just one in 21 games in April. The 27-year-old has raised his batting average to .263 on the season and is getting on base at a .339 clip.

IOWA SERIES WRAP: The Redbirds lost their first series since April 8-11 at San Antonio after the Iowa Cubs took three of four at AutoZone Park. It was the first time that the Cubs won a series against the Redbirds since Aug. 13-16, 2018 and the first time winning a series at this facility since May 25-28, 2012.

Tyler O'Neill and Rangel Ravelo led the way for the Redbirds offensively in the series, with the pair combining to go 10-for-27 (.370) with five runs scored, two home runs and six runs batted in.

Anthony Shew turned in the best start by the Memphis rotation in the series, tossing 6.0 scoreless frames while only allowing one hit and striking out eight in the series opener.

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

O'NEILL RETURNS: In his first Triple-A appearance of the season on May 5, 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 on May 6 and ranks T-2nd on the team with five home runs in just 10 games. All of his home runs have come against Nashville. In Wednesday'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 their series opener against Nashville on May 2, 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 April 20 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 seven starts of the season, Gomber is 4-0, 2.98 (15 ER/45.1 IP) to go along with 52 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 16-for-32 (.500) with three doubles, a home run and 17 RBI. With runners in scoring position and two outs, Sosa leads the team with a .643 average (9x14) and nine RBI.

Sosa has the second-highest batting average in the Pacific Coast League with runners in scoring position (min. 32 AB).

On May 2 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 67 doubles, 10 triples and 46 home runs. Adolis Garcia and Tommy Edman share the team lead with 15 extra-base hits each, combining for 14 doubles, four triples and 13 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 24 starts of the season, Tommy Edman has 10 multi-hit games, including six, three-hit performances, April 12 at San Antonio, April 13 at Round Rock, April 17 vs. San Antonio, April 26 at Omaha, May 3 at Nashville and yesterday vs. Nashville. His team-high 10-game hitting streak came to end on April 21, but he has reached safely in 22 of 27 contests. His 37 hits and nine doubles are most among the current Redbirds roster.

In Sosa's first 27 starts, he has nine multi-hit games and has three-hit performances on April 15 at Round Rock, April 17 vs. San Antonio and Friday at Nashville. Sosa ranks 3rd on the team with a .300 batting average and T-3rd with 18 RBI.

Not to be out-done, Andrew Knizner also has nine multi-hit games. Knizner had his season-high eight-game hitting streak come to an end April 30, but has hits in 21 of 26 games. He ranks 2nd on the team with a .320 batting average.

The trio has combined for 102 hits, which accounts for 29.6 percent of all the Redbirds hits this season, 49 runs (22.4 percent), 35 extra-base hits and 50 RBI.


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