Game Notes: Memphis Redbirds (38-57) at Round Rock Express (55-40)
Memphis Redbirds (38-57) at Round Rock Express (55-40)
Tuesday, July 16 - 7:05 p.m. (CT) - Dell Diamond (12,000) - Round Rock, Texas
Game #96 - Road Game #47 (23-23)
RHP Jake Woodford (5-5, 3.56) vs RHP Cy Sneed (5-6, 4.48)
BY THE NUMBERS
10 Number of home runs by Adolis Garcia with two outs in an inning. That figure leads the Redbirds and also ranks T-2nd in the Pacific Coast League.
0.79 Junior Fernandez's ERA through his first seven career Triple-A contests. He has allowed one earned run in 11.1 innings of work and has whiffed 15 batters. He has also stranded all six inherited runners.
TONIGHT'S GAME: The Memphis Redbirds continue their seven-game road swing in the second of a four-game set against the Round Rock Express at Dell Diamond. The Redbirds won last night's opener 8-6, backed by four home runs, three of them coming with two outs. Adolis Garcia posted his first two-home run game of the year. The 'Birds bullpen tossed 6.0 scoreless frames and have put up a 2.42 ERA in 12 games this month. 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 tonight's game and make his 18th start of the season. Tonight will also be Woodford's first start since pitching in the Triple-A All-Star Game on July 10 in El Paso. He last took the mound in the regular season on July 3 vs. New Orleans, suffering the loss (5.0 IP, 4 H, 4 R/ER, 5 BB, 4 SO, 2 HR) in the Redbirds' 4-3 defeat to the Baby Cakes. It was his second-straight loss and the first time since May 24 at Nashville that he had issued at least five walks in a start. It was the first time in two starts that he had allowed at least four earned runs, but overall he has allowed two earned runs or fewer in four of his last six. He is still holding opponents to a .214 (75x350) average, which ranks 2nd in the Pacific Coast League. Woodford continues to be even stingier against right-handed batters, holding them to just a .196 (42x214) average. That figure is the lowest among Redbirds starters. Even with the loss, he has still won 15 of his last 25 decisions overall at the Triple-A level. Woodford has made two starts against Round Rock this season and has gone a combined 1-0, 2.06 (3 ER/13.1 IP). His last start against Round Rock came on April 21 at AutoZone Park, where he took no-decision (7.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R/ER, 3 BB, 4 SO, 1 HR) in the Redbirds' 5-3 walk-off victory over the Express. He also ranks 5th in the PCL with a 3.56 ERA and has allowed one earned run or fewer in seven of his 17 outings. The St. Petersburg, Fla., was named to the 2019 Pacific Coast League All-Star Team, and was named starter after receiving the most votes among pitchers. He tossed 2.0 scoreless frames in the game on July 10 and fanned two to earn the win. He entered 2019 ranked as the No. 16 prospect in the Cardinals organization by Baseball America and he is currently ranked as the No. 24 prospect in the organization by MLB.com.
The Express are slated to start right-hander Cy Sneed in tonight's contest. The 26-year-old is scheduled to make his ninth start and 15th appearance for Round Rock and his 17th appearance overall this season across all levels. Sneed has gone 5-6, 4.48 (35 ER/70.1 IP) in his 14 outings for the Express and is allowing a .233 opponent's average (60x258). In his last time out on July 11 at Texas, Sneed took no-decision in his second Major League relief appearance of the season (5.0 IP, 6 H, 1 R/ER, 1 BB, 7 SO) in the Astros' 5-0 defeat to the Rangers. He made his MLB debut on June 27 vs. Pittsburgh, taking no-decision in relief (6.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R/ER, 1 BB, 4 SO, 2 HR) in the Astros' 10-0 defeat to the Pirates. His last start with Round Rock came on June 21 at Iowa, where he took no-decision (7.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R/ER, 1 BB, 6 SO, 1 HR) in the Express' 6-5 win over the Cubs. It was his T-2nd longest outing at the Triple-A level and he has allowed four earned runs or fewer in four of his last five starts, including two starts of allowing no runs. Sneed has made one relief appearance against Memphis this season on April 15, tossing 5.0 innings of one-run ball, allowing three hits and whiffing six in the Express' 8-6 defeat to the Redbirds. Tonight marks his first start against the Redbirds since Aug. 7, 2018 while with Fresno. The Elko, Nev., native is in his sixth professional season and his fourth with the Houston organization. He spent the first two years of his professional career within the Milwaukee organization.
HISTORY WITH ROUND ROCK: The two clubs have met every year since 2005, with the Redbirds taking a slight 123-107 edge overall. The 'Birds also hold a 63-51 advantage at AutoZone Park and have gone 11-6 in downtown Memphis 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 60-56 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 hit four home runs, and the bullpen tossed 6.0 scoreless innings to finish an 8-6 win in the series opener at the Round Rock Express (Astros) Monday night in Round Rock, Texas.
Adolis Garcia hit two long balls for the Redbirds (38-57), his 17th and 18th of the season, and Jose Martinez and Randy Arozarena also went deep for Memphis. Along with the quartet of home runs, Joe Hudson was on base three times with two hits and a walk, and Martinez also drew two free passes to go along with a pair of hits.
After Genesis Cabrera worked 3.0 innings as the starter, allowing six runs on six hits and leaving with the Redbirds trailing 6-5, the Memphis bullpen dominated down the stretch as the offense continued to roll.
Ryan Helsley fired 3.0 scoreless frames, allowing just one hit and striking out four, and he gave way to Junior Fernandez who followed with 2.0 one-hit innings of his own. He also struck out four. Hunter Cervenka allowed two singles in the bottom of the ninth, bringing the go-ahead run to the plate with one out, but he got a double play to finish the ballgame.
Memphis put up a three-spot in the fifth to take an 8-6 lead, as Arozarena hit a two-run home run and Garcia cranked his second of the night.
Round Rock (55-40) had the tying run on base or at the plate in the fifth, sixth, eighth, and ninth innings, but the Redbirds bullpen was masterful in closing out the victory.
The four-home run game was one shy of Memphis' season high.
ROSTER MOVES: The following roster moves were made prior to last night'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).
GARCIA RAKING AGAINST ROUND ROCK: After hitting two more home runs against Round Rock pitching, Adolis Garcia now leads the Pacific Coast League with five home runs in nine games against the Express this season. He also ranks T-3rd among PCL batters with 12 RBI. With both long balls coming with two outs in the inning, he also ranks T-2nd in the PCL with 10 home runs in such situations.
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 16 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 1-for-5 with a home run and two RBI against Round Rock, Redbirds players batting first in the order are now hitting .310 overall, which ranks 2nd in the Pacific Coast League. They also rank T-4th in hits (124), T-4th in OBP (.372), 4th in OPS (.875) and 5th in SLG (.503).
WOODFORD SHINES IN EL PASO: Jake Woodford tossed 2.0 perfect innings to start the 2019 Triple-A All-Star Game and earned the win in the Pacific Coast League All-Stars' 9-3 win over the International League All-Stars on Wednesday. Woodford fanned two batters and three of the other four outs were recorded via ground-outs. He was the sixth Redbirds pitcher to start the All-Star Game and second-straight to earn the honor.
Andrew Knizner, who was added to the PCL All-Star roster on July 5 did not make an appearance in the game.
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