Game Notes: Memphis Redbirds (24-36) at Tacoma Rainiers (30-30)
Memphis Redbirds (24-36) at Tacoma Rainiers (30-30)
Thursday, June 6 - 9:05 p.m. (CT) - Cheney Stadium (7,429) - Tacoma, Washington
Game #61 - Road Game #32 (14-17)
RHP Daniel Ponce de Leon (4-4, 4.13) vs RHP Mike Wright (0-0, 4.50)
BY THE NUMBERS
5 Tommy Edman's current hitting streak. He shares the team lead with Adolis Garcia with three hitting streaks of at least five games.
7.1 Consecutive innings pitched by Chasen Shreve without allowing an earned run. Overall, he has allowed just six earned runs in his last 14.2 IP (12 G) and has lowered his ERA from 6.75 to 4.60 during that span.
5 Number of errors committed by the Redbirds in this series against Tacoma. Is their most in a two-game span this season and first time this year they have committed two or more errors in back-to-back games.
TONIGHT'S GAME: The Memphis Redbirds look to clinch a series victory in the final game of this three-game set against the Tacoma Rainiers. Jose Godoy homered in his first at-bat of last night's game for his first career hit at the Triple-A level. Six of the nine Redbirds starters had at least one hit in the contest. Anthony Shew lasted just 0.2 innings in his start last night, allowing six runs, five earned as the Rainiers scored seven times in the first inning. Tonight's game will be broadcast live on www.memphisredbirds.com with Steve Selby on the call.
ON THE HILL: Right-hander Daniel Ponce de Leon is scheduled to take the mound in tonight's game and make his sixth road start and 11th start overall. Ponce de Leon's last outing came on Saturday vs. Oklahoma City, where he suffered his second straight loss (6.0 IP, 4 H, 6 R/ER, 3 BB, 5 SO, 2 HR, 1 HBP) in the Redbirds' 8-1 defeat to the Dodgers. He has worked at least 5.0 innings in nine of his 10 starts but has allowed five earned runs or more in two of his last four outings. This has moved his ERA to a season-high 4.13 but he has dropped his opponent's average to .241 in that span. His 4.13 ERA ranks 9th and his opponent's average against ranks T-7th in the Pacific Coast League entering today. Despite suffering his fourth defeat of the season, Ponce de Leon has still won 10 of his last 16 decisions at the Triple-A level, dating back to May 30, 2018. Ponce de Leon made one start against Tacoma last season on June 6, 2018 at AutoZone Park, earning the win (5.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R/ER, 6 BB, 3 SO) in the Redbirds' 2-1 victory over the Rainiers. The Anaheim, Calif., native made one Major League start this season on April 23, taking no-decision (5.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R/ER, 3 BB, 7 SO, 1 HR) in the Cardinals' 4-3 win over the Brewers. The 27-year-old is currently ranked as the No. 15 prospect in the Cardinals system by MLB.com.
The Rainiers are slated to start right-hander Mike Wright in tonight's contest. The 29-year-old is scheduled to make his second start for Tacoma and his 20th appearance overall across all levels this season. Wright has gone 0-0, 4.50 (3 ER/6.0 IP) to go along with four strikeouts and two walks in three games, one start at the Triple-A level this season. In his last time out on Friday at El Paso, Wright took no-decision (4.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R/ER, 0 BB, 2 SO), in his first start of the season, in the Rainiers' 8-5 victory over the Chihuahuas. That was Wright's first start since Sept. 23, 2018, and just his fifth in the last two seasons. He spent all of 2018 at he Major League level with the Baltimore Orioles, going 4-2, 5.55 (52 ER/84.1 IP) in 48 games, two starts. Wright opened 2019 with the Orioles, going 0-1, 9.45 (14 ER/13.1 IP) in 10 relief appearances before being traded to the Mariners on April 24. During his brief time with the Mariners this season, he went 0-0, 9.00 (11 ER/11.0 IP) in seven games before being designated for assignment on May 19 and sent outright to Tacoma on May 22. The Bennettsville, S.C., native is in his ninth professional season and his first with the Seattle organization. He had spent the first eight years of his career within the Baltimore system at various levels. In his Major League career, Wright has gone 10-12, 6.08 (171 ER/253.0 IP) in 108 games, 23 starts.
HISTORY WITH TACOMA: The Redbirds have faced off against the Tacoma Rainiers every year since 1998. The Rainiers have been Seattle's Triple-A affiliate the entirety of that span. The Redbirds are Rainiers are tied in the all-time series 50-51 but hold a 29-22 advantage at AutoZone Park. At Cheney Stadium, Memphis trails by a 21-29 margin. The Redbirds have winning records against the Rainiers in each of the last two seasons and have not had a losing record against the Rainiers since 2009. The two teams have faced off in the playoffs once, in the 2010 Pacific Coast League Championship. Tacoma swept Memphis 3-0 to capture their fifth PCL title. All three games were played at AutoZone Park due to ongoing renovations at Cheney Stadium at the time.
ABOUT THE LAST ONE: The Memphis Redbirds (24-36) opened the contest by scoring in the first inning against the Tacoma Rainiers (Mariners) for the second straight night in Tacoma, Wash., but the Rainiers scored seven times in the bottom half and never looked back in their 10-4 win over the Redbirds.
Adolis Garcia drove in Rangel Ravelo with a two-out single in the opening frame to give the Redbirds an early 1-0 lead, but the Rainiers (30-30) responded with seven runs their first time up, all with two outs, knocking Memphis starter Anthony Shew out of the contest after just 0.2 innings of work.
Jose Godoy notched his first career Triple-A hit, a two-run blast to right, but Redbird bats went silent the rest of the night, scoring just one more run over the final seven innings.
Godoy ended his night going 2-for-3 with two RBI and walk.
Chris Ellis made his longest relief outing of the season, tossing 3.0 scoreless frames, allowing two hits while striking out three and issuing two walks. Chasen Shreve also had a scoreless appearance out of the bullpen, tossing 2.1 shutout innings and allowing just a single batter to reach.
Six of the nine Redbird batters recorded a hit in the contest, but Tyler O'Neill was the only other batter besides Godoy to have multiple hits.
Memphis allowed a season-high five stolen bases and hit into four double plays.
OKLAHOMA CITY SERIES WRAP: The Memphis Redbirds were swept in four games by the Oklahoma City Dodgers in the first series of the season between the two clubs. This marked the first time since July 14-17, 2016 at Albuquerque that the Redbirds had been swept in four games by an opponent. The 'Birds also went 0-10 on their homestand, which was the second time in franchise history (2007, 0-7) that they failed to win to record a win during a homestand.
The Redbirds scored just 13 runs in the four games but scored two or fewer in each of the final three games of the series. The offense slugged a total of three homes and collected and nine extra-base hits overall. Against Oklahoma City pitching, Memphis was held to a .192 average (25x130) and only had seven players pick up multi-hit performances.
Rangel Ravelo came just a home run shy of hitting for the cycle in the series opener and recorded his first triple since May 27, 2018. Overall, Ravelo went 7-for-13 (.538) in the four games against the Dodgers and bookended the series with three-hit games. He has raised his average to .302 on the season. Tommy Edman picked up two more multi-hit games during the series and also scored a team-high five runs. He leads the Redbirds with 15 multi-hit games this season. After going 105 at-bats without a home run, Edmundo Sosa homered in back-to-back games to bring his season total to four. Adolis Garcia blasted his team-leading 12th home run of the year in the series opener on Thursday.
The 'Birds starting staff went 0-3, 9.45 (19 ER/18.1 IP) fanning 20 batters while issuing 11 walks. The starters also gave up six home runs in the series, including three by Alex Reyes on Sunday in his return to Memphis. Ryan Helsley whiffed six in his start on Friday, fanning three-straight twice on the night. The Memphis bullpen went 0-1, 5.76 (11 ER/17.2 IP) with 27 strikeouts. Evan Kruczynski made the longest relief outing of the season for the Redbirds, tossing 3.0 innings on Sunday and allowing one run on one hit.
RAVELO STAYS HOT: After hitting a career-low .173 (13x75) in the month of April at the Triple-A level, Rangel Ravelo stayed hot all of May, going 38-for-99 (.384) in 28 games. Ravelo had five three-hit games last month and already has one in June, compared to just one in 21 games in April. He had his 19-game hitting streak snapped May 25. He had homered four times during that span. He came just one game shy of matching the franchise record is 20 games, set by Adam Kennedy from June 28 - Aug. 12, 1999. Despite having his his hitting streak ended, Ravelo has still hit safely in 27 of his last 33 games with an official at-bat. The 27-year-old has raised his batting average to .297 on the season and is getting on base at a .381 clip.
MAY RECAP: The Redbirds finished May with a 10-21 record, going 4-12 at AutoZone Park and 6-9 on the road. This is the just the second time since 2017, that the Redbirds have posted a losing record in a month, the last being August 2018. It is also the second time during that span that the 'Birds have had losing records at home or away. The 35 home runs slugged by the Redbirds ranks T-2nd for home runs in May, falling just three home runs shy of matching the 1999 franchise record of 38 homers in May.
Rangel Ravelo led the team with a .384 average (38x99), .460 OBP and a 1.066 OPS. This all coming after batting just .173 in the month of April. Tyler O'Neill returned to the Redbirds with a bang, launching eight home runs in 24 games.
GOING TO THE SHOW: Following the contract of Andrew Knizner being purchased on Friday by the St. Louis Cardinals, the Redbirds have now had four members from their Opening Night roster get called up to St. Louis and make their Major League debuts. Knizner joins Lane Thomas as the second Redbirds position player to earn a call up, joining pitchers Genesis Cabrera and Ryan Helsley. The 2018 Redbirds had six players get promoted to St. Louis and they would all make their Major League debuts with the club.
DON'T RUN ON THE REDBIRDS: During the doubleheader against San Antonio on May 27, catchers Joe Hudson and Andrew Knizner each threw out a would-be base stealer in their respective games behind the plate. The Redbirds lead the Pacific Coast League in cutting down baserunners, throwing out 24 runners in 61 attempts. While throwing out the most baserunners, they also rank 2nd the PCL with a 39.3 caught-stealing success rate.
Andrew Knizner leads all PCL catchers by throwing out 17 baserunners in 32 attempts. His current caught-stealing rate of 53.1 percent is nearly 30 percentage points higher than his 2018 caught-stealing rate of 26.7 percent (20 CS/75 SB ATT) across all levels.
MEISINGER IN MAY: After tossing a career-high 4.0 innings and allowing just one run in the nightcap of the doubleheader on May 27, Ryan Meisinger brought his season ERA down to 3.34 after ending April with a 5.40 ERA. He has gone 0-1, 1.00 (2 ER/18.0 IP) in May over 11 games and two starts and has allowed earned runs in just two of those outings. His ERA is now down to a season-low 3.09 following his brief outing last night at Tacoma. He has fanned 25 batters and issued just four walks as well. Despite not making a start in his Minor League career entering 2019, Meisinger has gone 0-1, 0.90 (1 ER/10.0 IP) in three starts.
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 4th (3.06) and Gomber has posted a 2.98 ERA that would rank 4th in the PCL if he qualified, as the pair have combined to go 8-2, 3.03 (39 ER/116.0 IP) in 20 starts. Gomber and Woodford rank 12th (52) and 5th (63) respectively in strikeouts. Woodford also ranks 4th in opponent average (.199) and 2nd (70.2) in innings pitched, while Gomber is one of two pitchers in the PCL to have thrown a complete-game shutout.
EXTRA! EXTRA!: On May 25 vs. San Antonio, the Redbirds did not have an extra-base hit in a game for the first time all season. Their run of 48 consecutive games with at least one such hit fell just three games short of matching the 2017 Redbirds' streak of 51 games. So far this season, the Redbirds have collected 99 doubles, 15 triples and 67 home runs. Adolis Garcia holds the team lead with 25 extra-base hits with nine doubles, three triples and a team-high 13 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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