Game Notes: Memphis Redbirds (39-59) at Omaha Storm Chasers (45-53)
Memphis Redbirds (39-59) at Omaha Storm Chasers (45-53)
Friday, July 19 - 7:05 p.m. (CT) - Werner Park (9,023) - Papillion, Nebraska
Game #99 - Road Game #50 (24-25)
RHP Harold Arauz (5-2, 6.13) vs RHP Arnaldo Hernandez (2-6, 7.47)
BY THE NUMBERS
69 Number of home runs hit on the road this season by the Redbirds. It is the 10th-most home runs hit on the road in a single season in franchise history. The franchise record is 90, set by the 2004 team.
19 Consecutive starts that Randy Arozarena has reached base safely. In 34 total starts for the Redbirds this season, Arozarena has failed to reach safely just twice.
TONIGHT'S GAME: The Memphis Redbirds continue their seven-game road swing with a three-game set against the Omaha Storm Chasers tonight. This is first time these two teams are meeting after playing 10 times in April and this is the final series between the two clubs at Werner Park this season. The Redbirds earned a series split last night by defeating Round Rock 10-5. John Nogowski posted his first two-home run game of the season and the 'Birds totaled eight extra-base hits in the contest. Johan Mieses also homered for the second-straight game and is batting .455 (10x22) in nine games during his third stint with the Redbirds this season. Five Redbirds had multi-hit games and all but one starter had at least one hit. Tonight's game will be broadcast live on www.memphisredbirds.com with Steve Selby on the call.
ON THE HILL: Right-hander Harold Arauz is scheduled to make his 12th appearance and eighth start for the Redbirds tonight. It will be his 18th appearance overall across all levels this season. In his last time out on Saturday vs. Oklahoma City in the first game of the doubleheader, he earned the win in relief (4.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R/ER, 1 BB, 2 SO, 1 HR) in the Redbirds' 3-2 victory over the Dodgers. The win was his fifth of the season, which ranks T-1st among all Redbirds pitchers this season. His 4.2 innings of work is his second-longest relief outing of the season and his first since June 6. He has allowed a home run in his last six outings, but has only allowed one long ball in each game. His last start for Memphis came on July 6 at Iowa, where he earned the win (5.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO, 1 HR) in the Redbirds 5-4 victory over the Cubs. Arauz has made one start against Omaha this season on April 24, where he earned the win (6.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 4 SO, 1 HR) in the Redbirds 7-5 victory over the Storm Chasers. That start remains his lone quality start of the season at the Triple-A level. Prior to rejoining the Redbirds on June 6, Arauz went 0-4, 8.86 (21 ER/21.1 IP) in five starts with Double-A Springfield. He yielded an opponent's average of .385 (40x104) and allowed 11 extra-base hits. He also allowed career-highs in hits (12, May 4) and walks (5, May 15) during that span. Overall, he has allowed three earned runs or fewer in seven of his 13 starts overall and has made just two quality starts in his outings. The 24-year-old has fanned 46 has issued 29 walks in 75.0 innings across all levels this season. Arauz has yielded an opponent's average of .321 (100x312) overall but has limited opponents to a .220 average (11x50) when pitching as a reliever. The Chiriqui, Panama, native is in his 8th professional season and first within the Cardinals organization. He has also spent time in the Houston and Philadelphia systems at various levels. At Advanced-A Clearwater on July 30, 2017, Arauz tossed a no-hitter.
The Storm Chasers are slated to start right-hander Arnaldo Hernandez in tonight's series opener. The 23-year-old is scheduled to make his 13th start for Omaha and his 18th appearance overall this season across all levels. In his last time out on July 5 vs. Nashville, he earned the win (5.1 IP, 6 H, 0 R/ER, 3 BB, 4 SO) in the Storm Chasers' 9-2 victory over the Sounds. It was his first win at the Triple-A level since June 1 and snapped a run of three-straight defeats. It was the fourth time in his last seven starts that he had allowed three earned runs or fewer. During his second stint with the Storm Chasers this season, he has gone 2-4, 5.24 (20 ER/34.1 IP) in seven starts. Prior to being transferred back to the Triple-A level on May 31, Hernandez went 2-2, 1.96 (5 ER/23.0 IP) in four starts at Double-A Northwest Arkansas. He made quality starts in three of those four games and has four such starts this season overall. Hernandez has made two starts against Memphis this season, one on the road and one at this facility. He has gone 0-0, 11.25 (10 ER/8.0 IP) in those contests. In his last start against Memphis on April 28 in the second game of a doubleheader, he took no-decision (4.0 IP, 9 H, 9 R/ER, 2 BB, 4 SO, 3 HR) in the Storm Chasers' 11-10 victory over the Redbirds. The nine earned runs allowed remain a season high. The San Felix, Venezuela, native is in his sixth professional season, spending all of them within the Kansas City organization. Hernandez went 5-1, 3.55 (23 ER/58.1 IP) in 10 G/9 GS with the Storm Chasers in 2018. On August 15, 2018, Hernandez tossed a complete game against Oklahoma City to help seal Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Week honors for the week of August 13-19, where he went 2-0, 0.56 (1 ER/16.0 IP) in 2 GS.
HISTORY WITH OMAHA: The Redbirds have winning records in each of the past two seasons at Werner Park in Omaha, going 5-3 in 2018 and 6-2 in 2017. The 'Birds have winning records in only seven of 21 seasons on the road against the Storm Chasers. Memphis holds a 167-144 edge overall, and a slim 81-74 margin on the road. The Redbirds have not had a losing record against the Storm Chasers since 2011, when they went 6-9. Omaha has played host to the Kansas City Triple-A affiliate since 1969.
The two teams have squared off one time in the postseason, in the 2014 Pacific Coast League American Conference Finals. The Storm Chasers won the series 3-1, splitting the first two games at Werner Park and winning both games played at AutoZone Park to capture the series victory. Following PCL expansion in 1998, the teams have combined to win seven PCL titles (Memphis 4, Omaha 3) making them two of the most successful clubs of the modern PCL era.
ABOUT THE LAST ONE: Eight extra-base hits, including two home runs by John Nogowski, powered a 10-5 win by the Memphis Redbirds in the series finale over the Round Rock Express (Astros) Thursday night in Round Rock, Texas.
Lane Thomas was on base four times with a double, a single, and two walks, and Randy Arozarena, Ramon Urias, and Nogowski were on base three times apiece. Joe Hudson was 2-for-5 with an RBI. Johan Mieses also homered for the Redbirds (39-59) and has now gone deep in back-to-back games.
Austin Warner picked up his first Triple-A victory of the season with 6.0 innings of solid work, allowing four runs on seven hits with seven strikeouts. He shut out the Express (57-41) in his final two innings of action, giving up just a walk in the fifth inning and a single in the sixth.
Each team scored a run in their first- and third-inning at-bats, and Round Rock led 4-3 after scoring twice in the fourth with Memphis getting a run in the top-half.
The Redbirds then exploded for four runs in the top of the fifth, with Urias hitting a sacrifice fly, Nogowski going yard for the second time in the game, and Hudson singling in Thomas. Memphis got another run in the sixth thanks to a two-out walk by Arozarena and an Urias double and led 8-4 after Warner finished his outing.
Memphis scored runs in the eighth and ninth innings, and Round Rock got a tally in the bottom of the ninth but nothing else as Chris Beck wrapped things up.
Junior Fernandez and Chris Ellis tossed scoreless frames in between Warner and Beck.
Arozarena's three runs scored are his season high in 60 games between Memphis and Double-A Springfield.
ROUND ROCK SERIES WRAP: The Memphis Redbirds split their four-game series with the Round Rock Express 2-2 in the final meeting between the two teams at Dell Diamond this season. The Redbirds finish 2019 with a 4-4 record on the road against the Express, making it the fourth-straight season that Redbirds have not finished with a losing record on the road against the Express. This was also the first time in four series that the Redbirds did not lose a series.
Randy Arozarena had hits in all four games of the series, going 6-for-17 and scored a team-high five runs during the series. He also scored a season-high three runs in last night's contest. Arozarena has now reached safely in each of his last 19 starts and is slashing .364/.453/.582/1.035 through 15 games in July after winning Cardinals Minor League Player of the Month for June. Johan Mieses had a team-high seven-hits during the series and homered twice in the four games. He had back-to-back three-hit games on Tuesday and Wednesday and collected five RBI. In his first 17 career games at the Triple-A level, Mieses has 18 hits and five home runs to go along with 15 RBI. Adolis Garcia and John Nogowski bookended the series with two-home run games, with each being their first such game of the season. Seven different players posted multi-hit performances and there were 15 total multi-hit games. Overall in the series, the Redbirds batted .296 (42x142) against Dodgers pitching.
The 'Birds starting staff went 1-1, 10.56 (19 ER/16.2 IP) fanning 13 batters while issuing 12 walks. They allowed five home runs and 11 total extra-base hits. No starters made a quality start, but Austin Warner and Jake Woodford each tossed 6.0 innings of four-run ball. Warner has worked 6.0 innings in three of his first starts with the Redbirds this season and his seven strikeouts in last night's start was a season-high at the Triple-A level. His win last night was also his first at the Triple-A level since Aug. 3, 2018 vs. Sacramento. Junior Fernandez made two appearance during the series, tossing 3.0 total scoreless innings and he has allowed five hits and one run in his first 12.1 innings at the Triple-A level. Prior to Wednesday's game, the relief staff had tossed 8.0 consecutive scoreless innings during the series. The staff overall yielded an opponent's average of .291 (39x134).
ROSTER MOVES: The following roster move was made prior to last night's game: Genesis Cabrera was placed on the 7-Day Injured List, retroactive to Tuesday.
Cabrera is the 20th different Redbird to hit the IL this season, compared to the 2018 Redbirds that only had nine different players hit the IL.
In his first full season at the Triple-A level, Cabrera had gone 3-4, 6.42 (44 ER/61.2 IP) in 14 games, 12 starts. Entering his start on Monday at Round Rock, Cabrera had five quality starts in his last six.
He made his Major League debut on May 29 at Philadelphia, where he suffered the loss in the start (3.2 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 5 SO, 1 HR) in the Cardinals' 11-4 defeat to the Phillies.
DON'T MESS WITH THE JOHAN: After going 7-for-16 with four runs scored, two home runs and four runs driven in, Johan Mieses is slashing .360/.429/.720/1.149 in his first 17 career Triple-A games. He has collected 18 hits, five home runs and 15 RBI over three stints with the Redbirds this season. He enters today with a joint season-high three-game hitting streak and has three-hit performances in two of those games.
GARCIA RAKING AGAINST ROUND ROCK: After hitting two more home runs against Round Rock pitching on Monday, Adolis Garcia now leads the Pacific Coast League with five home runs in 10 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 19 starts. He also has six 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 2-for-4 with three runs, a double and a walk against Round Rock last night, Redbirds players batting first in the order are now hitting .313 overall, which ranks 2nd in the Pacific Coast League. They also rank T-4th in hits (129), T-2nd in OBP (.376), 5th in OPS (.881) and 5th in SLG (.505).
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