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Game Notes: Memphis Redbirds (23-24) at Nashville Sounds (18-28)

May 24, 2019 - Pacific Coast League (PCL) - Memphis Redbirds News Release

Memphis Redbirds (23-24) at Nashville Sounds (18-28)

Friday, May 24 - 6:35 p.m. (CT) - First Tennessee Park (10,300) - Nashville, Tennessee

Game #48 - Road Game #29 (13-15)

RHP Jake Woodford (3-1, 2.44) vs LHP Wes Benjamin (1-5, 7.88)

BY THE NUMBERS

18 Rangel Ravelo's current hitting streak. It is his longest such streak at the Triple-A level and it is the longest Redbird streak since Matt Carpenter also hit in 18 straight games from July 26 - Aug. 23, 2011.

39 Times Redbird batters have been hit by a pitch this season. Memphis leads all of Triple-A baseball in that category. The Redbirds have been hit 20 times in 11 games by Nashville pitching, which is more than seven Pacific Coast League teams' entire season total of hit batters.

THE GAME

TONIGHT'S GAME: The Memphis Redbirds wrap up their four-game set with the Nashville Sounds tonight at First Tennessee Park. Tonight marks the final contest between these two clubs in the Music City. The Redbirds can clinch a winning record on the road at Nashville for a ninth time in 22 seasons with a win tonight. Rangel Ravelo extended his hitting streak to 18 games and is now just two games shy of matching Adam Kennedy's franchise record set in 1999. Tonight'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 game and make his tenth start and sixth road start of the season. Woodford last took the mound on Sunday at San Antonio, suffering his first loss of the season (5.0 IP, 7 H, 5 R/ER, 4 BB, 3 SO, 1 HR) in the Redbirds' 9-3 defeat to the Missions. He allowed season-highs in hits and runs allowed as well as matching a season-high in walks. After allowing two runs or fewer in each of his first six starts, Woodford has allowed four runs or more in two of his last three outings. He has still won eight of his last 12 decisions at the Triple-A level despite suffering the loss. He has two starts against the Sounds this season, going 1-0, 0.80 (1 ER/11.2 IP) in one home and one road start. In his last start against the Sounds on May 14, he twirled a gem, tossing 7.0 scoreless frames and fanning six while only allowing five hits in the Redbirds' 9-3 win. He is currently holding opposing batters to a .197 (35x178) average, which ranks 3rd in the Pacific Coast League among qualifiers. Woodford is even stingier against right-handed batters, holding them to just a .165 (18x109) average. He also ranks 3rd in the PCL with a 2.44 ERA and has allowed one earned run or fewer in six of his nine 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 this series. The 25-year-old is scheduled to make his tenth start of the season and his fifth home start. In his last time out on Sunday at Round Rock, Benjamin took no-decision (5.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO, 1 HR) in the Sounds' 9-7 victory over the Express. Through his first nine career Triple-A starts, Benjamin has gone 1-5, 7.88 (33 ER/37.2 IP) and has three starts of 2.2 innings or fewer. In his two starts against the Redbirds this season Benjamin has gone 0-2, 15.00 (12 ER/7.2 IP) and has allowed 13 hits and three home runs in those outings. Benjamin lasted just 1.2 innings in his start against Memphis on May 3, allowing nine runs on nine hits in the Sounds' 17-2 defeat. The Winfield, Ill., native has allowed at least four runs in five outings and opponents currently hold a .307 average (47x153) 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 163-1801in 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 161-177.

Memphis has winning records on the road at Nashville in eight seasons, including two of the last four. Since First Tennessee Park opened in 2015, the Redbirds have a 21-17 record.

THE SEASON

ABOUT THE LAST ONE: The Memphis Redbirds (23-24) scored the first three runs of the contest and led 4-1 after the top of the sixth, before the Nashville Sounds (Rangers) started a comeback and scored seven unanswered runs to spur an 8-5 win over the Redbirds Thursday night in Nashville, Tenn.

Drew Robinson was 3-for-5 with a double, a home run, and two RBI, and Tommy Edman homered for the second-straight game. Rangel Ravelo had a ground-rule double to extend his hitting streak to 18 games.

Ravelo's streak ties Matt Carpenter for the third-longest in Redbirds history. He is two shy of matching Adam Kennedy's 20-game hitting stretch for tops in franchise history.

Andrew Knizner opened the scoring with an RBI single in the first, before Robinson homered in the third and then had an RBI single in the fifth to give Memphis a 3-0 lead. Nashville's (18-28) Matt Davidson launched his 15th long ball of the year in the bottom of the fifth to make the score 3-1, and Adolis Garcia had a run-scoring double that plated Ravelo in the top of the sixth to bring the Redbirds' lead to 4-1.

In what would be his final batter faced, Evan Kruczynski surrendered a bases-clearing double to Davidson to knot the game at 4.

In his second Triple-A start, Kruczynski allowed those four runs on six hits in 5.2 innings. He struck out three and walked one.

Dominic Leone finished the sixth and worked a scoreless bottom of the seventh, and the Redbirds stranded a Tyler O'Neill in the top of the eighth.

Jesus Cruz entered in the bottom of the eighth and loaded the bases, before Zack Granite hit a grand slam to give Nashville an 8-4 lead.

Cruz hit the next batter, prompting the benches to empty, and he, manager Ben Johnson, and John Nogowski were ejected in a scuffle that followed.

Nashville has hit 20 Memphis hitters in 11 games between the two clubs this season, compared to three by Redbirds pitchers.

Edman homered with one out in the top of the ninth, but the next two Redbirds were retired to end the ballgame.

The first seven hitters in the Memphis lineup had at least one of the team's 10 hits in the ballgame. Six of those went for extra bases.

SAN ANTONIO SERIES WRAP: The Redbirds were swept for the first time this season and the first time in a five-game series since July 21-23, 2006 at Iowa, but that series included two doubleheaders.

The Redbirds series record on the road fell to 1-2-3 (W-L-T) with both series losses coming at San Antonio. Memphis won just one of seven games at the Wolff.

Adolis Garica and Rangel Ravelo were the standout performers offensively in the series, combining to go 14-for-33 (.424) with two home runs and four RBI. Garcia homered in back-to-back contests on Thursday and Friday, while Ravelo extended his hitting streak to a season-high 15 games. Ravelo is batting .472 (26x55) during that span.

The 'Birds starting staff went 0-3, 6.14 (15 ER/22.0 IP) fanning 22 batters while issuing eight walks. The starters also only gave up two home runs in the series. Genesis Cabrera turned in the lone quality start. The Memphis bullpen went 0-2, 5.44 (11 ER/18.2 IP) with 22 strikeouts.

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 on May 13 and May 14 and find themselves among Pacific Coast League leaders in multiple categories as a result. Woodford ranks 3rd (2.44) and Gomber ranks 6th (2.98) in the PCL in ERA, as the pair have combined to go 7-1, 2.69 (29 ER/97.0 IP) in 17 starts. Gomber and Woodford rank 4th (52) and 11th (45) respectively in strikeouts, 14th (45.1) and T-4th (51.2) in innings pitched and 10th (1.28) and 6th (1.20) in WHIP. Woodford also ranks T-3rd in opponent average (.197), while Gomber is one of two pitchers in the PCL to have thrown a complete-game shutout.

RAVELO STAYS HOT: After hitting a career-low .173 (13x75) in the month of April at the Triple-A level, Rangel Ravelo has stayed hot all month, going 30-for-69 (.435) in 20 games this 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 18-game hitting streak and has homered three times during that span. The franchise record is 20 games, set by Adam Kennedy from June 28 - Aug. 12, 1999. The 27-year-old has raised his batting average to .299 on the season and is getting on base at a .377 clip.

O'NEILL CONTINUES TO RAKE: 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 eight home runs in just 16 games. Seven of his eight 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 and had another three-hit performance last night. 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. On May 16 in the series opener against San Antonio, 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.

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 84 doubles, 10 triples and 59 home runs. Adolis Garcia holds the team lead with 19 extra-base hits with six 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.

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.


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