Game Notes: Memphis Redbirds (40-60) at Omaha Storm Chasers (46-54)
Memphis Redbirds (40-60) at Omaha Storm Chasers (46-54)
Sunday, July 21 - 2:05 p.m. (CT) - Werner Park (9,023) - Papillion, Nebraska
Game #101 - Road Game #52 (25-26)
RHP Jake Woodford (5-6, 3.70) vs RHP Scott Blewett (5-7, 7.47)
BY THE NUMBERS
6 Number of walk-off losses for the Redbirds this season. It is the most such defeats in a season since the 2016 team also had six walk-off defeats.
21 Consecutive starts that Randy Arozarena has reached base safely. In 36 total starts for the Redbirds this season, Arozarena has failed to reach safely just twice.
TODAY'S GAME: The Memphis Redbirds wrap up their seven-game road swing in the third and final game of this three-game set against the Omaha Storm Chasers tonight. This is the final meeting between the two teams at Werner Park this season. The Redbirds suffered their sixth walk-off defeat of the season after Erick Mejia hit a solo home run with two out in the ninth inning of last night's game. It is also the second time this season that they have lost in such fashion to the Storm Chasers. Ramon Urias hit his first home run since April 15 in the eighth inning, a game-tying three-run shot. He has gone 6-for-17 (.353) since returning to the Redbirds on Monday. Johan Mieses extended his season-high hitting streak to five games with a two-hit performance. Today'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 today's game and make his 19th start of the season. In his last time out on Tuesday at Round Rock, he suffered his third-straight loss (6.0 IP, 6 H, 4 R/ER, 4 BB, 4 SO, 2 HR) in the Redbirds' 4-1 defeat to the Express. Woodford has allowed four earned runs in his last two starts and has allowed two home runs in each of his last three. He has fanned four batters in four-straight starts, but has issued at least four walks in each of his last two. Overall he has allowed two earned runs or fewer in four of his last seven. He is still holding opponents to a .218 (81x372) average, which ranks 2nd in the Pacific Coast League. Woodford continues to be even stingier against right-handed batters, holding them to just a .195 (44x226) average. That figure is the lowest among Redbirds starters. Even with the loss, he has still won 15 of his last 26 decisions overall at the Triple-A level. Woodford has made two starts against Omaha this season and has gone a combined 1-0, 0.80 (1 ER/11.2 IP). His last start against Omaha came on April 28 at Werner Park in the first game of a doubleheader, where he earned the win (6.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R/ER, 3 BB, 6 SO) in the Redbirds' 5-1 victory over the Storm Chasers. He came just one out away from tossing a complete game. He also ranks 4th in the PCL with a 3.70 ERA and has allowed one earned run or fewer in seven of his 18 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 Storm Chasers are slated to start right-hander Scott Blewett in today's series finale. The 23-year-old is scheduled to make his 16th start for Omaha this season in as many games. In his last time out on Tuesday vs. New Orleans, he took no-decision (4.0 IP, 6 H, 5 R/ER, 3 BB, 3 SO, 2 HR, 1 HBP) in the Storm Chasers' 9-8 victory over the Baby Cakes. Blewett has allowed five earned runs or more in three of his last four starts and has failed to reach the 5.0 inning mark in each of his last four outings as well. He has allowed two home runs or more in four of his last five and has allowed a long ball in 12 of his 15 starts overall. He is in search of his first win since June 10, which was also the last time that he had made a quality start this season. He has made three such outings in his first full season at the Triple-A level. Blewett has made one start against Memphis this season on April 8 at AutoZone Park. In his Triple-A debut against the Redbirds, he earned the win (5.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 SO, 1 HR) in the Storm Chasers' 14-3 victory over the Redbirds. In that game, the Storm Chasers scored 12 runs in the second inning. The Baldwinsville, N.Y., native is in his sixth professional season, all with the Kansas City organization. The Royals 2014 2nd Round pick entered the season ranked as the No. 15 prospect in the system by Baseball America and he is currently ranked as the No. 15 prospect by MLB.com.
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 168-145 edge overall, and a slim 82-75 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: The Memphis Redbirds stormed back from a 5-0 hole to tie the game at 5 in the eighth inning, but the Omaha Storm Chasers (Royals) hit a walk-off home run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to capture a 6-5 win Saturday night in Omaha, Neb.
Memphis (40-60) scored twice in the top of the seventh inning and three more times in the top of the eighth, with the big blow in the eighth being a three-run home run by Ramon Urias. Adolis Garcia and Johan Mieses had RBI singles in the seventh.
With the game now tied at 5, Chris Beck pitched his second of 2.0 scoreless innings in the bottom of the eighth, and the Redbirds went down in order in the top of the ninth. Mike Mayers relieved Beck and got two quick outs before surrendering the game-winning home run to Omaha's (46-54) Erick Mejia.
Urias finished 2-for-3 with a double, the home run, a walk, and two runs scored to go along with three RBI. Mieses ended the night 2-for-4, and Lane Thomas and Jose Martinez also had doubles.
Randy Arozarena walked and scored a run, and he has now reached base in 21-straight starts.
Garcia swiped two bags for his 10th and 11th steals of the year.
ROSTER MOVES: The following roster moves were made prior to tonight's game: Rangel Ravelo and Tyler Webb were recalled by St. Louis and Ryan Helsley and Dominic Leone were optioned by St. Louis.
Ravelo heads to St. Louis for the third time this season. He has appeared in six games and started in one for the Cardinals. He has gone 1-for-8 with three strikeouts and a walk. His Major League debut on June 17 vs. Miami came after 838 career games in the minor leagues.
Webb returns to St. Louis following a 10-day stint with the Redbirds, his second of the season. Over those 10 days, Webb appeared in four games, allowing one earned run in 5.1 innings pitched to go along with three strikeouts and no walks.
Helsley returns from his brief and fifth Major League stint this season. He appeared for the Cardinals in last night's game at Cincinnati, tossing 2.0 scoreless frames to finish the game. He allowed just one hit, struck out one and issued one walk.
Leone returns to Memphis for his third stint at the Triple-A level. In eight games for the Cardinals during his third stint at the MLB level, he went 0-0, 4.70 (4 ER/7.2 IP) and converted his lone save chance. He posted scoreless appearances in five of those outings.
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 had posted a .360/.429/.720/1.149 slash-line in his first 17 career Triple-A games.
He has collected 21 hits, six home runs and 17 RBI over three stints with the Redbirds this season. He enters today with a season-high five-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 Friday'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 21 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 0-for-3 with a run and a walk against Omaha last night, Redbirds players batting first in the order are now hitting .312 overall, which ranks 2nd in the Pacific Coast League. They also rank 5th in hits (131), T-3rd in OBP (.375), 5th in OPS (.878) and 5th in SLG (.502).
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