Game Notes: Memphis Redbirds (21-20) at San Antonio Missions (24-17)
Memphis Redbirds (21-20) at San Antonio Missions (24-17)
Saturday, May 18 - 7:05 p.m. (CT) - Nelson W. Wolff Municipal Stadium (9,200) - San Antonio, Texas
Game #42 - Road Game #23 (11-11)
LHP Evan Kruczynski (0-0, 0.00) vs RHP Zack Brown (1-3, 5.36)
BY THE NUMBERS
9 Number of runs in the combined margin of victory between these two teams in seven games this season. Each contest has been separated by two runs or fewer.
10.2 Consecutive scoreless innings tossed by Ryan Meisinger in his last eight games, including one start. He has lowered his season ERA from 6.59 to 3.70 during that span.
TONIGHT'S GAME: The Memphis Redbirds look to snap their two-game losing skid tonight in the middle of this five-game set against the Missions. Adolis Garcia homered for the second consecutive night, bringing his season home run total to 11. Garcia leads the team with 33 RBI and that figure ranks seventh in the Pacific Coast League. Rangel Ravelo extended his hitting streak to 12 games last night and is batting .500 during that span (23x46). Tonight's game will be broadcast live on www.memphisredbirds.com with Steve Selby on the call.
ON THE HILL: Left-hander Evan Kruczynski is scheduled to take the mound in tonight's contest and make his Triple-A debut and his ninth start overall in the 2019 season. Kruczynski started the year at Double-A Springfield where he went 2-3, 6.64 (29 ER/39.1 IP) in eight starts for the Cardinals. In his last three starts however, Kruczynski has allowed two earned runs of fewer in each of those starts. The 24-year-old's last outing came on Monday vs. Arkansas, where he earned the victory (7.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R/ER, 3 BB, 9 SO, 1 HR) in the Cardinals' 4-1 victory over the Travelers. It marked his second straight quality start and his second consecutive win, while also setting season-highs in innings pitched and strikeouts. Despite spending time at the Double-A level last season, he did not make an appearance against the Missions. The Franklin, Wisc., native split time between Double-A Springfield and Advanced-A Palm Beach in 2018, combining to go 7-6, 3.50 (45 ER/115.2 IP) in 21 G/GS. Kruczynski is in his third professional season and has spent them all with the St. Louis organization.
The Missions are scheduled to start right-hander Zack Brown tonight. The 24-year-old is slated to make his ninth start of the season, third against the Redbirds, and his fourth home start. In his last time out on Sunday at New Orleans, Brown took no-decision (3.2 IP, 10 H, 8 R/ER, 3 BB, 1 SO, 2 HR) in the Missions' 10-9 defeat to the Baby Cakes in New Orleans. The 10 hits and eight runs allowed marked season-highs, while his 3.2 innings pitched and one strikeout marked season-lows. It was also the first time this season that Brown had allowed multiple home runs in an outing. In two starts against the Redbirds this season, Brown has gone 0-1, 5.40 (7 ER/11.2 IP) to go along with eight strikeouts and four walks. Brown in his fourth professional season, all with the Milwaukee Brewers organization and is ranked as the No. 5 prospect in the system by Baseball America. The Seymour, Ind., native went 9-1, 2.44 (34 ER/125.2 IP) with Double-A Biloxi in 2018.
HISTORY WITH SAN ANTONIO: April 9 marked the first time that the Redbirds played a game in the Alamo City in their young history. It was also the first meeting between the two cities since 1973 when the Memphis Blues were members of the Texas League. The last time these two teams met prior to last week was in 1973 TL Championship Series, where the Blues won the series 3-2, with all games played in San Antonio, to capture their second TL title before moving to the International League the next year.
This is 14th-straight year that the Redbirds have faced off against Milwaukee's Triple-A affiliate, with the previous four being played against the Colorado Springs Sky Sox. Memphis went 38-26 against the Sky Sox from 2015-18, including an 11-5 record last season. The 'Birds played the Sox for 21-straight seasons prior to this season's realignment, going 104-87 overall, 60-35 at home and 44-52 on the road. Prior to Colorado Springs, Nashville played host to the Brewers' top affiliate, where the Redbirds went 76-84 from 2005-14.
ABOUT THE LAST ONE: Down 5-0, the Memphis Redbirds (21-20) scored three runs in the top of the eighth inning and then had the tying run on base in the ninth, but the San Antonio Missions (Brewers) finished off a 5-3 win Friday night in San Antonio, Texas.
Memphis began to rally with a three-spot in the eighth, as Andrew Knizner doubled home Kramer Robertson and then trotted home on an Adolis Garcia home run, his 11th of the season. The hit was Robertson's first at the Triple-A level.
After Chasen Shreve shut down San Antonio (24-17) with a perfect eighth inning that included two strikeouts, Max Schrock singled with one out in the ninth to represent the tying run. But pinch-hitter Tyler O'Neill and Tommy Edman struck out to end the ballgame.
The Redbirds fell behind 5-0 after four innings, which finished Daniel Ponce de Leon's day on the mound. He allowed five runs on five hits in 3.2 innings. Coupled with San Antonio's offense, rehabbing Jimmy Nelson shut down Memphis in 5.2 innings on the mound. He gave up just three hits, and he struck out eight.
The Redbirds fanned 15 times at the plate in the game.
After Ponce de Leon, Chris Ellis, Ryan Meisinger, and Shreve pitched the final 4.1 innings in shutout fashion, allowing only two hits, to set up the comeback attempt.
Rangel Ravelo extended his hitting streak to 12 games, finishing 2-for-4. In addition to his home run, Garcia also had a single and two outfield assists at second base.
NASHVILLE SERIES WRAP: The Redbirds won their first series since April 24-28 at Omaha after taking three of four from the Sounds at AutoZone Park. Memphis has not lost a series to Nashville since May 12-15, 2018.
The Redbirds homered eight times in the series, with Tyler O'Neill leading the way with three long balls. All six of O'Neill's home runs have come against the Sounds. The four home runs launched on Tuesday set a season-high. Rangel Ravelo went 7-for-15 (.467) with one home run and five RBI, bringing his season average up to .265. Tommy Edman hit the team's first lead-off home run on the season in Monday's contest.
The 'Birds starting staff allowed just six earned runs in 21.1 innings (2.56 ERA) and fanned 20 batters while issuing nine walks. Austin Gomber and Jake Woodford turned in back-to-back seven-inning quality starts to close out the series.
PAIR OF ACES: Austin Gomber and Jake Woodford turned in back-to-back seven-inning quality starts to close out the series against the Sounds and find themselves among Pacific Coast League leaders in multiple categories as a result. Woodford ranks 3rd (1.74) and Gomber ranks 7th (2.98) in the PCL in ERA, as the pair have combined to go 7-0, 2.35 (24 ER/92.0 IP) in 16 starts. Gomber and Woodford rank 2nd (52) and 13th (42) respectively in strikeouts, 7th (45.1) and T-5th (46.2) in innings pitched and 9th (1.28) and 4th (1.09) in WHIP. Woodford also ranks 2nd in opponent average (.176), while Gomber is one of two pitchers in the PCL to have thrown a complete-game shutout.
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 23-for-50 (.460) in his first 14 games of the month. Ravelo already has four three-hit games this month, compared to just one in 21 games in April. He is currently riding a season-high 12-game hitting streak and has homered three times during that span. The 27-year-old has raised his batting average to .288 on the season and is getting on base at a .360 clip.
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 ranks 2nd on the team with seven home runs in just 13 games. Six of his seven long balls have come against Nashville. On May 8 in the 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.
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. In Thursday's series opener, Memphis was walked off by the Missions for a third time this season. The Redbirds also suffered a walk-off defeat on April 28 at Omaha The four last-at-bat defeats this season have already surpassed last year's total of two and have matched 2017's total. The Redbirds have not been walked-off more than four times in a season since 2016 when it occurred six times.
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). On May 8 in the 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.
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 eight 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-34 (.471) with three doubles, a home run and 17 RBI. With runners in scoring position and two outs, Sosa leads the team with a .563 average (9x16) and nine RBI.
Sosa has the second-highest batting average in the Pacific Coast League with runners in scoring position (min. 34 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 70 doubles, 10 triples and 53 home runs. Adolis Garcia holds the team lead with 18 extra-base hits with five doubles, two triples and a team-high 11 home runs.
After Garcia's home run May 2, 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.
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