Game Notes: Memphis Redbirds (40-59) at Omaha Storm Chasers (45-54)
Memphis Redbirds (40-59) at Omaha Storm Chasers (45-54)
Saturday, July 20 - 7:05 p.m. (CT) - Werner Park (9,023) - Papillion, Nebraska
Game #100 - Road Game #51 (25-25)
RHP Seth Elledge (1-1, 6.48) vs LHP Foster Griffin (7-3, 5.53)
BY THE NUMBERS
3 Consecutive games that Johan Mieses has homered in. He is the first Redbird this season to homer in three-straight.. He is also the first Redbird to achieve this since Tyler O'Neill homered in three-straight from June 26-28.
20 Consecutive starts that Randy Arozarena has reached base safely. In 35 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 the second of this three-game set against the Omaha Storm Chasers tonight. The Redbirds won last night's series opener by launching four home runs and collecting eight extra-base hits for the second-straight game. Adolis Garcia posted his second two-home run game in his last three to reach 20 long balls on the season. He is just two home runs shy of matching his total of 22 from last season. Johan Mieses became the first Redbird this season to homer in three-straight games with his solo shot in the eighth last night. Jose Godoy's three-hit performance was his third-straight multi-hit game. He has posted six such games in his first eight career Triple-A games. Tonight's game will be broadcast live on www.memphisredbirds.com with Steve Selby on the call.
ON THE HILL: Right-hander Seth Elledge is scheduled to make his first start and ninth appearance for the Redbirds in tonight's game. It will be his 35th appearance overall across all levels this season. In his last time out in relief on Wednesday at Round Rock, he tossed a scoreless fourth inning in the Redbirds' 11-8 defeat to the Express. He also fanned two batters and issued to walks. In his last 7.2 innings (7 G) for the Redbirds, Elledge has allowed just one earned run (1.17 ERA) and has whiffed seven batters. After allowing five earned runs in his first Triple-A appearance of the season on June 25, Elledge has had scoreless outings in six of his last seven. His appearance on June 25 was his first with the Redbirds since appearing in Game 1 of the Pacific Coast League Championship Series against Fresno last season. In that contest, Elledge tossed a scoreless ninth to close out a 10-4 victory for the Redbirds over the Grizzlies. Before being transferred to Memphis on June 25, he went 3-3, 3.78 (14 ER/33.1 IP) in 26 relief appearances for Double-A Springfield. Before getting transferred, Elledge went 1-0, 1.50 (2 ER/12.0 IP) in eight games, with seven of those outings being scoreless ones. Overall at Springfield, he converted three of seven save opportunities. The 23-year-old is in his third professional season and his second within the St. Louis organization. He spent the first two years of his career within the Seattle organization before being traded on July 27, 2018. During his 2018 campaign, he was named a California League Mid-Season All-Star while pitching for Modesto. The Dallas Baptist University product entered 2019 ranked as the No. 24 prospect in the Cardinals system by Baseball America and he is currently ranked as the No. 28 prospect in the system by MLB.com.
The Storm Chasers are slated to start left-hander Foster Griffin in tonight's game. The 23-year-old is scheduled to make his 18th start for Omaha this season in as many games. In his last time out on Monday vs. New Orleans, he took no-decision (5.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R/ER, 2 BB, 8 SO, 1 HBP) in the Storm Chasers' 6-3 defeat to the Baby Cakes. Griffin has failed to work at least 6.0 innings in his last six starts after having a stretch from April 25 - June 4 where he made six such starts out of eight. Over his last six starts, he has worked 5.0 innings in four games and has allowed three earned runs or fewer in three of those starts. He is in search of his first win since June 21. Griffin has made two starts against Memphis this season, one on the road and one at this facility. He has gone 0-0, 4.50 (5 ER/10.0 IP) in those contests. The Storm Chasers are 1-1 in those games. In his last start against Memphis on April 25, he took no-decision (6.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R/ER, 1 BB, 3 SO, 1 HR) in the Storm Chasers' 6-4 defeat to the Redbirds. That outing was his first quality start at the Triple-A level and his start on April 6 at Memphis was his Triple-A debut. He is in his sixth professional season, all with the Kansas City organization, as the No. 30 prospect in the Royals' system by Baseball America. The former 2014 1st-round pick was the lone Royals representative during the 2017 All-Star Futures Game in Miami.
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 168-144 edge overall, and a slim 82-74 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: A 2-0 deficit through three innings was no problem for the Memphis Redbirds, as they proceeded to blast four home runs and toss three scoreless innings to finish an 8-4 win over the Omaha Storm Chasers (Royals) in the series opener Friday night in Omaha, Neb.
Adolis Garcia homered twice for his 19th and 20th long balls of the season, John Nogowski went deep for the third time in two games, and Johan Mieses went yard for the third-straight game to power the Memphis offense. Nogowski also doubled, Jose Godoy hit two two-baggers, and Randy Arozarena also had a double in the game.
The first four hitters in the Memphis (40-59) lineup all had two-hit games as part of the Redbirds' 13-hit attack, and defensively the club turned four double plays. Garcia also had an outfield assist at second base.
Harold Arauz moved to 6-2 on the season with 5.2 innings of work, allowing four runs on six hits with two strikeouts and three walks. Tyler Webb, Mike Mayers, and Hunter Cervenka combined to finish the ballgame in scoreless fashion.
With Omaha (45-54) threatening, Webb got a double play to finish the seventh inning, Mayers got two groundouts and a strikeout around a walk in the eighth, and Cervenka induced a double play to finish the ballgame.
Arozarena is now on a five-game hitting streak after his 2-for-5 game.
ROSTER MOVES: The following roster moves were made prior to tonight's game: Ryan Helsley was recalled by St. Louis, Edmundo Sosa was optioned by St. Louis and Kodi Whitley was transferred from Springfield.
Helsley heads to St. Louis for his fifth Major League stint this season and his first since being optioned on July 3. In seven games with the Cardinals this season, Helsley has gone 0-0, 3.48 (4 ER/10.1 IP) in seven relief appearances. He has fanned 12 compared to 12 walks.
Edmundo Sosa returns from his first MLB stint this season. In three games, he went 1-for-3 in three pinch-hit appearances. His hit at Cincinnati on Thursday was his first-career MLB hit.
Kodi Whitley is in line to make his Triple-A debut. In 31 games at Double-A Springfield this season, Whitley went 1-4, 1.83 (8 ER/39.1 IP) in 31 relief appearances and converted seven of his nine save chances.
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 Thursday'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 following the series, Mieses had 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 Thursday'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).
DON'T MESS WITH THE JOHAN: After going 7-for-16 with four runs scored, two home runs and four runs driven in during the series with Round Rock, Johan Mieses was slashing .360/.429/.720/1.149 in his first 17 career Triple-A games.
He has collected 19 hits, six home runs and 16 RBI over three stints with the Redbirds this season. He enters today with a season-high four-game hitting streak and has three-hit performances in two of those games. He also became the first Redbird this season to homer in three-straight games after his home run in the eighth inning of last night's game.
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 20 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-5 with a run and a double against Omaha last night, Redbirds players batting first in the order are now hitting .314 overall, which ranks 2nd in the Pacific Coast League. They also rank T-4th in hits (131), 3rd in OBP (.376), 5th in OPS (.882) and 5th in SLG (.506).
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 July 10. 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.
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