Game Notes: Memphis Redbirds (37-57) at Round Rock Express (55-39)
Memphis Redbirds (37-57) at Round Rock Express (55-39)
Monday, July 15 - 7:05 p.m. (CT) - Dell Diamond (12,000) - Round Rock, Texas
Game #95 - Road Game #46 (22-23)
LHP Genesis Cabrera (3-4, 5.83) vs RHP Jose Urquidy (3-1, 2.89)
BY THE NUMBERS
7 Number of runs driven in by Lane Thomas in the previous series against Oklahoma City. It was the most runs driven in by Thomas in a series this season. He had entered the series with 26 RBI on the season.
0.96 Junior Fernandez's ERA through his first six career Triple-A contests. He has allowed one earned run in 9.1 innings of work and has whiffed 11 batters. He has also stranded all six inherited runners.
TONIGHT'S GAME: The Memphis Redbirds open up a seven-game road swing with a four-game set against the Round Rock Express at Dell Diamond. This is the first time the two teams have met since playing each other eight times in April and they have split the season series 4-4. The Redbirds had Sunday off after splitting a doubleheader on Saturday against the Oklahoma City Dodgers. The 'Birds have gone 0-1-4 (W-L-T) in their five doubleheaders this season. Tonight's game will be broadcast live on www.memphisredbirds.com with Steve Selby on the call.
ON THE HILL: Left-hander Genesis Cabrera is scheduled to take the mound tonight and make his 14th appearance and 12th start with Memphis and his 19th appearance overall across levels in 2019. Cabrera last took the mound on July 7 at Iowa to close out the first-half of the season, suffering the loss (3.0 IP, 6 H, 7 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 3 SO, 1 HR) in the Redbirds' 8-5 defeat to the Cubs. The seven runs (unearned) and five earned allowed by Cabrera was the most in a start since May 10, also in a start against Iowa. He also matched a season-high with three walks and allowed a home run for the second-straight start. The start also ended a run of five-straight starts with allowing three earned runs or fewer. Cabrera has made one start against Round Rock this season on April 22 at AutoZone Park. In that start, he suffered the loss (4.0 IP, 4 H, 4 R/ER, 2 BB, 3 SO, 2 HR) in the Redbirds' 9-4 defeat to the Express. During his second Major League stint of the season from June 13-23, he made three relief appearances, allowing two runs on two hits in 3.1 total innings. In his return to Memphis on June 9 at Reno, Cabrera earned the win (5.0 IP, 6 H, 1 R/ER, 3 BB, 8 SO) in the Redbirds' 7-4 victory over the Aces. It was his third consecutive start of allowing two earned runs or fewer He fans fanned at least six batters in three of his last six starts in Memphis. During his first career Major League stint, Cabrera went 0-2, 6.48 (6 ER/8.1 IP) in two starts. He made his MLB debut on May 29 at Philadelphia, suffering the loss (3.2 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 5 SO, 1 HR)in the Cardinals' 11-4 defeat to the Phillies. The Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, native is in his sixth professional season and second with the St. Louis organization. Cabrera entered this season ranked as the No. 6 prospect in the Cardinals system by Baseball America. He spent the bulk of last season at Double-A Montgomery, going 7-6, 4.12 (52 ER/113.2 IP). He was named a Southern League All-Star and ranked 3rd in the league with a .218 batting average.
The Express are slated to start right-hander Jose Urquidy to begin this series. The 24-year-old is scheduled to make his eighth start and ninth appearance for Round Rock and his 17th appearance overall this season across all levels. Urquidy has gone 3-1, 2.89 (14 ER/43.2 IP) in his eight outings for the Express and is allowing a .199 opponent's average (32x161). In his last time out on July 7 vs. Los Angeles-AL, Urquidy took no-decision in his start (2.1 IP, 8 H, 5 R/ER, 0 BB, 4 SO, 1 HR) in the Astros' 11-10 victory over the Angels. It was his second career Major League start and he has fanned four batters in each start. He made his MLB debut on July 2 at Colorado, taking no-decision (3.2 IP, 6 H, 2 R/ER, 1 BB, 4 SO) in the Astros' 9-8 victory over the Rockies. His last start with Round Rock came on June 26 at San Antonio, where he earned the win (6.0 IP, 5 H, 0 R/ER, 2 BB, 9 SO) in the Express' 4-2 win over the Missions. It was his fourth-straight quality start at the Triple-A level and he has allowed three earned runs or fewer in all seven of his starts at Round Rock. He began the season at Double-A Corpus Christi where he went 2-2, 4.09 (15 ER/33.0 IP) in seven games, six starts. Tonight marks his first start against the Redbirds in his career. Urquidy is in his fifth professional season and he has spent them all within the Houston organization. The Mazatlan, Mexico, native is currently ranked as the No. 28 in the Astros system by MLB.com.
HISTORY WITH ROUND ROCK: The two clubs have met every year since 2005, with the Redbirds taking a slight 122-107 edge overall. The 'Birds also hold a 63-51 advantage at AutoZone Park and have gone 11-6 at this facility the past two seasons. The Redbirds and Express finished all-square at 8-8 in 2018, which was only the second time in 14 seasons that the two teams had split the season series. Memphis has not lost a season series to Round Rock since 2015.
On the road at Dell Diamond, the Redbirds have a slim 59-56 advantage, but have gone 11-4 at this facility the past two seasons. The Redbirds and Express finished all-square at 8-8 in 2018, which was only the second time in 14 seasons that the two teams had split the season series. Memphis has not lost a season series to Round Rock since 2015.
After eight years as the Rangers Triple-A affiliate, the Express are the Astros top affiliate for the first time since 2010. The Express spent their first six years in the Pacific Coast League as the Astros Triple-A team, where the Redbirds went 55-38 from 2005-10, including 12-4 in each of the last two seasons before the Express switched affiliations.
ABOUT THE LAST ONE: The Memphis Redbirds and Oklahoma City Dodgers (Dodgers) split a doubleheader Saturday night at AutoZone Park, with the Redbirds winning the first game, 3-2, and Oklahoma City taking the nightcap, 8-5.
The Redbirds (37-57) and Dodgers (41-52) played a doubleheader to wrap up the series to avoid Sunday's projected inclement weather due to Tropical Storm Barry's path towards Memphis.
Game 1: Memphis 3, Oklahoma City 2
The Redbirds were powered by home runs by Randy Arozarena and Edmundo Sosa, which created the offense in a 3-2 win in Game 1.
Arozarena hit his fourth home run of the season in the bottom of the first to tie the game at 1, and Sosa's two-run shot in the bottom of the third was his 10th of the season and gave Memphis a 3-1 advantage.
After injury-rehabbing Mike Mayers started for the Redbirds and worked 2.0 innings, Harold Arauz came on and shut down the Sounds for 4.2 innings, allowing only three hits and striking out two. He threw 36 of his 58 pitches for strikes, before he was lifted with one out to go in the game. Hunter Cervenka came on and got a one-pitch groundout to wrap things up.
Irving Lopez had Memphis' only other hit in the game, and he scored on Sosa's two-out homer.
Game 2: Oklahoma City 8, Memphis 5
Oklahoma City scored seven runs in the top of the second and led 8-0 midway through Game 2, before the Redbirds rallied and scored five runs before ultimately falling short, 8-5.
Pinch-hitter Lane Thomas cleared the bases with a three-run double in the bottom of the fourth to put Memphis on the board, and Jose Godoy added a two-run single in the bottom of the fifth to make things interesting at 8-5.
But Memphis put two runs on base in the sixth but did not score and then went down in order in the seventh to finish the ballgame.
To help set up the comeback try, Junior Fernandez came out of the bullpen in the fifth and struck out the side, and Jesus Cruz worked a scoreless sixth with a strikeout and a double play. Tyler Webb then fired a scoreless seventh, as the Redbirds bullpen finished the game by facing the minimum over the last three Dodger at-bats.
Godoy ended the game 2-for-4, and Rangel Ravelo also had a two-hit game.
ROSTER MOVES: The following roster moves were made prior to tonight's game: Irving Lopez was transferred to Double-A Springfield and Ramon Urias was transferred from Double-A Springfield.
Lopez finishes his first-career Triple-A stint by posting a .300/.386/.467/.852 slash-line in 21 games with one home run and five RBI. He had multi-hit performances in five games and also had a five-game hitting streak from June 25-30.
Ramon Urias makes his Memphis return after missing 27 games while on the Injured List from June 9 - July 8 and after a brief seven-game combined stint at both Advanced-A Palm Beach and Double-A Springfield. He went 7-for-28 (.250) in those games and had one home run, three RBI and six runs scored.
OKLAHOMA CITY SERIES WRAP: The Memphis Redbirds lost their series to the Oklahoma City Dodgers 3-1 in the final meeting at AutoZone Park this season. The Redbirds finish 2019 with a 1-7 record at home against the Dodgers, making it the first time in franchise history that they had won just one game at home in a season against the Oklahoma City franchise. It is also the sixth time in the last seven seasons that Memphis have finished with a losing record at home against Oklahoma City. The Redbirds have not won a home series since June 12-14 vs. Salt Lake. All four games of this series were decided by three runs or fewer.
Edmundo Sosa and Lane Thomas each had five hits in the series as they combined to go 10-for-29 (.345) at the plate with one home run and 10 RBI. Sosa finished the series riding a four-game hitting streak, his longest such stretch since posting an eight-game streak from June 21-28. Thomas was optioned back to Memphis on July 5 following his third big-league stint and responded by hitting safely in a season-high five straight games, including in three of four against Oklahoma City. He had his streak ended in the first game of Saturday's doubleheader, but had a three-run, pinch-hit double in the night cap. He totaled seven RBI in the series, with three multi-RBI games. His home run on Friday was his third against the Dodgers this season, which ranks 2nd on the Redbirds. Randy Arozarena reached safely in all four games of the series and has now reached safely in his last 15 starts. In 29 games with Memphis following the series, he is slashing .369/.441/.559/1.000 and failed to reach safely when he starts just twice (27 G). Jose Godoy made his first start for the Redbirds since June 8 in the second game on Saturday and went 2-for-4. In his first six career Triple-A contests, Godoy has multi-hit performances in four games. Overall in the series, the Redbirds batted .237 (28x118) against Dodgers pitching.
The 'Birds starting staff went 0-1, 7.60 (12 ER/14.2 IP) fanning 10 batters while issuing five walks. They allowed one home run and eight total extra-base hits. Austin Warner delivered his first quality start with Memphis this season on Friday, tossing 6.0 innings of two-run ball while allowing six hits and fanning four. He has allowed at least one home run in all three of his starts with the Redbirds, but Friday was his first start with allowing just one. Mike Hauschild matched a season-high with 5.0 innings pitched in the series opener and had three strikeouts. He has whiffed 10 batters in his last 14.0 innings after only having two strikeouts in his first 9.0 innings. Junior Fernandez made two appearance during the series, tossing 1.1 total scoreless innings and he has not and in his first six Triple-A appearances, he has allowed four hits and one run in 9.1 innings. He struck out the side in his inning of work in the second game of the doubleheader Saturday. The staff overall yielded an opponent's average of .318 (41x129).
THE AMAZING RANDY: After slashing .374/.456/.607/1.063 in 28 games between Double-A Springfield and Triple-A Memphis in June, Randy Arozarena was named Cardinals Minor League Player of the Month. He also had five home runs, eight doubles, 20 RBI, and four stolen bases.
Making his Memphis debut on June 12 after arriving from Springfield, Arozarena proceeded to hit in 13-of-18 games in the month with the Redbirds, including a five-game hitting streak to end the month that included a pair of four-hit games. He had his eight-game hitting streak snapped on July 4, but has reached base safely in each of his last 15 starts. He also has five games with at least three hits during that span.
On July 4, among prospects with at least 100 plate-appearances over the last 30 days he ranked 1st in hits (40) and average (.414), 2nd in OBP (.484) and total bases (70), T-3rd in doubles (10) and 5th in OPS (1.115). (Credit: MLB Pipeline)
This is Arozarena's second-career monthly honor from the Cardinals after being honored in June 2017 while playing for Advanced-A Palm Beach.
LET'S GET IT STARTED: After Randy Arozarena went 3-for-13 in four games against Oklahoma City, Redbirds players batting first in the order are now hitting .311 overall, which ranks 2nd in the Pacific Coast League. They also rank 3rd in hits (123), 2nd in OBP (.374), 5th in OPS (.873) and 5th in SLG (.499).
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