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Game Notes: Memphis Redbirds (55-65) at Fresno Grizzlies (54-66)

August 13, 2019 - Pacific Coast League (PCL) - Memphis Redbirds News Release

Memphis Redbirds (55-65) at Fresno Grizzlies (54-66)

Tuesday, August 13 - 9:05 p.m. (CT) - Chukchansi Park (12,500) - Fresno, California

Game #121 - Road Game #62 (32-29)

LHP Genesis Cabrera (4-5, 6.22) vs RHP Scott Copeland (4-5, 6.85)

BY THE NUMBERS

.373 Ramon Urias' batting average since returning to the Redbirds on July 15. Urias has hit safely in 16 of 23 games, including having multi-hit performances in eight of those contests.

10.2 Consecutive scoreless innings (6 G) tossed by Kodi Whitley. He has fanned nine batters and issued just one walk during that span. He has posted a 1.35 ERA through his first eight games at the Triple-A level in his career.

THE GAME

TONIGHT'S GAME: The Memphis Redbirds conclude their seven-game west coast road trip in the fourth and final game against the Fresno Grizzlies. The two teams met for the first time Saturday night since going head-to-head in the Pacific Coast League Championship last season. The Redbirds won their fourth-straight game with a 6-4 victory over the Grizzlies last night to clinch a series win. The Redbirds entered the sixth inning trailing 3-0 and plated five runs in the decisive frame. Three of the five runs were driven in with two outs. The Redbirds have scored nine of their 23 runs with two outs in the series. Ramon Urias extended his hitting streak to eight games, matching his season-high. 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 18th appearance and 16th start with Memphis and his 23rd appearance overall across levels in 2019. Cabrera last took the mound on Thursday at Sacramento, suffering the loss (6.1 IP, 8 H, 5 R/ER, 2 BB, 7 SO, 1 HR) in the Redbirds' 5-2 defeat to the River Cats. It was Cabrera's first loss since July 7 at Iowa. He has allowed five earned runs or more in three of his last five starts and he has allowed at least one home run in six-straight. Cabrera has allowed a home run in 13 of 17 appearances overall. He has also fanned at least seven batters in three-straight, bringing his season total to 84, which ranks 2nd among all Redbirds pitchers this season. He has allowed two walks or fewer in four-straight. Cabrera allowed a season-high eight hits for the fourth time this season, raising his average against to .286 (92x322). He has allowed three earned runs or fewer in seven of his last 10 starts with the Redbirds. Cabrera will be making his first career start against Fresno in tonight's contest. He made an appearance in relief against the Grizzlies in Game 2 of the 2018 Pacific Coast League Championship Series. He tossed one inning and allowed one run on two hits. He also fanned two batters. 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. During his first career Major League stint from May 29 - June 4, 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 Grizzlies are scheduled to start right-hander Scott Copeland in tonight's series finale. The 31-year-old has gone 4-5, 6.85 (68 ER/89.1 IP) in 27 games, 15 starts for Fresno this season and has yielded an opponent's average of .291 (105x361). In his last time out on Thursday vs. Nashville, Copeland took no-decision (5.0 IP, 6 H, 6 R/ER, 4 BB, 6 SO, 1 HR) in the Grizzlies' 8-6 defeat to the Sounds. It was the second time in his last four starts that he has allowed at least six earned runs and at least five hits. He has fanned 15 batters and issued eight walks during that span, making one quality start on August 2 at San Antonio (6.0 IP/0 ER). As a starter, Copeland has gone 3-3, 6.69 (55 ER/74.0 IP) in his 15 starts, striking out 64 and walking 42. As a reliever, he has gone 1-2, 7.63 (13 ER/15.1 IP) in 12 appearances in relief. Tonight will be his first start against Memphis since Aug. 22, 2017 while with New Orleans. In that contest, he earned the win (6.0 IP, 6 H, 1 R/ER, 1 BB, 6 SO, 1 HR) in the Baby Cakes' 8-3 victory over the Redbirds at AutoZone Park. The Longview, Texas, native is in his tenth professional season and his first with the Washington organization. Copeland had also spent time in the Baltimore, Toronto, Miami and New York-NL organizations.

HISTORY WITH FRESNO: The Redbirds have faced off against the Fresno Grizzlies every year since 1998. Memphis leads in the overall series 52-47 and trails at this facility 21-22. Memphis last came to Fresno in 2017, where the two teams split a four-game set. The teams met last season at AutoZone Park, where the Redbirds dropped three-of-four games, suffering the series loss.

The two teams have squared off in the postseason once, with the Redbirds coming away victorious in in the 2018 Pacific Coast League Championship. The Redbirds captured their second-consecutive PCL title by winning the series 3-1, taking the crown 5-0 at AutoZone Park.

This is the third year that the Redbirds have faced off against the Washington Nationals' Triple-A affiliate and for the first time since 2006. Fresno is entering their first season as the National's top affiliate after four seasons of affiliation with the Houston Astros. From 2005-06, the New Orleans Baby Cakes were the organization's top affiliate, where the Redbirds went 12-20. Overall, Memphis is 15-20 against the Nationals' Triple-A club.

THE SEASON

ABOUT THE LAST ONE: After being held to two hits through five innings Monday night in Fresno, Calif., the Memphis Redbirds' bats awoke and finished with six runs on 10 hits in a 6-4 win against the Fresno Grizzlies (Nationals).

Memphis has won four-straight games, seven-of-nine, and 10-of-13 overall. With the win, Memphis (55-65) secures its sixth series victory in its last seven played.

With Fresno (54-66) leading 3-0 after scoring a run in the first inning and two more in the second, the Redbirds were quietly held to two hits through their first five at-bats. But the club plated five runs on six hits, all singles, in the top of the sixth inning to take a 5-3 lead. The inning started with four-straight base knocks, and another run was scored on a sacrifice fly.

Fresno got within 5-4 after a run in the home-half, but the Redbirds scored again in the top of the seventh to bring the game to its eventual final score of 6-4.

Kodi Whitley then tossed 2.0 scoreless frames of relief, and Mike Mayers worked a scoreless ninth with two strikeouts to seal the victory.

Each Redbirds position player reached base at least once in the game, with Edmundo Sosa and Rangel Ravelo having two-hit games. Ramon Urias was 1-for-3 with an RBI, extending his hitting streak to a season-high-tying eight games, and Harrison Bader was 1-for-5 and moved his hitting streak to five-straight.

Sosa has a hit in 16 of his last 17 games.

Austin Warner got the win for the Redbirds with 5.0 innings of work, allowing those three early Fresno runs but nothing else. He struck out eight and walked one and threw 60 of his 94 pitches for strikes.

In addition to going 1-for-4, Adolis Garcia walked, scored twice, and stole his 13th base of the season.

ROSTER MOVES: The following roster moves were made prior to tonight's game: Randy Arozarena was purchased by the St. Louis Cardinals and Andrew Knizner was optioned to Memphis.

Arozarena heads to the big leagues for the first time in his career and he is slated to become the eighth Redbird this season to make his Major League debut. The Havana, Cuba, native posted a .368/.442/.562/1.004 slash in 52 games with the Redbirds this season, earning back-to-back Cardinals Minor League Player of the Month honors for June and July.

Knizner is line to make his first appearance for the Redbirds since July 6. During his second MLB stint of the season, he slashed .229/.308/.371/.679 in 11 games, collecting his first MLB hit on July 17 vs. Pittsburgh and launching his first home run on July 24, also against the Pirates.

PONCE DE LEON NAMED PITCHER OF THE WEEK: Memphis Redbirds starting pitcher Daniel Ponce de Leon has been named the Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Week for August 5-11, the league announced Monday.

Ponce de Leon earned the honor after throwing seven scoreless frames and allowing just two hits on Friday's 15-0 Memphis win over the Sacramento River Cats (Giants) in Sacramento. He struck out a season-high 11 batters, which was also the most strikeouts by a Redbirds pitcher this season, and issued no walks.

In his last three starts with Memphis, Ponce de Leon has allowed just three hits and no runs over 14.0 innings of work, whiffing 21 batters compared to issuing six walks.

In 13 starts for the Redbirds this season, Ponce de Leon is 5-4 with a 3.26 ERA with 66 strikeouts in 66.1 innings. He has held opponents to just a .211 average against. If he qualified, Ponce de Leon would have the lowest ERA and lowest average against among PCL league leaders.

REDBIRDS RAKE ON THE ROAD: Not only did the Memphis Redbirds match a season-high by launching five home runs in Saturday night's game, but they also broke the franchise record for most home runs hit on the road in a single season. Adolis Garcia's solo blast in the sixth inning was the team's 91st home run hit on the road this season, breaking the record of 90 set by the 2004 Redbirds.

CLIMBING THE LEADERBOARDS: As Adolis Garcia continues his power surge at the plate, he has entered and climbed into the Top-10 in several batting categories on the Redbirds all-time lists. His home run last night was his 50th in his Redbirds career and he is now just one shy of matching Patrick Wisdom or T-4th in franchise history. He ranks 8th with 159 RBI, five shy of matching Pete Kozma for T-8th. He also ranks T-5th in triples (11), 7th in strikeouts (267), T-7th in hit by pitches (17) and he also moved in to 7th in extra-base hits (117) after doubling last night as well.

PONCE DE LEON DOMINANT AGAIN: After setting the pace with 4.0 no-hit innings on August 4 in Memphis' 2-0 win over El Paso, Daniel Ponce de Leon dazzled again on the mound Friday, holding the Sacramento River Cats to just two hits in 7.0 innings of work, fanning 11 batters and issuing no walks. In his last three starts with the Redbirds dating back to June 6 at Tacoma, Ponce de Leon has allowed just three hits in his last 14.0 innings with the Redbirds and has whiffed 21 batters during that span. Through 13 starts with Memphis this season, he has held opponents to a .211 average (51x242), a figure that would lead the Pacific Coast League if he qualified.

'BIRDS SILENCE BATS: Memphis Redbird pitchers held the El Paso Chihuahuas, one of the most potent offenses in the Pacific Coast League, to just one hit on August 4 in a 2-0 shut-out win. Daniel Ponce de Leon began the game with four hitless frames and fanned eight. Seth Elledge followed and allowed a single to the second batter he faced to end the no-hit bid, but he, Chasen Shreve and Junior Fernandez retired 13 of the next 14 batters to end the game. It was the 12th one-hitter in franchise history and first since Ponce de Leon's solo effort on July 15, 2018 at Omaha.

RANDY REPEATS: After slashing .374/.456/.607/1.063 in 28 games between Double-A Springfield and Triple-A Memphis in June en route to being named Cardinals Minor League Player of the Month, Randy Arozarena won the award for the second-straight month after posting a slash of .378/.455/.592/1.047 in 26 games in July. Arozarena became the third Redbird in franchise history to hit for the cycle on July 26 at Oklahoma City and accomplished that feat in his first four at-bats and had 12 total multi-hit games in July. He has also reached base safely in his last 37 starts and has 15 multi-hit games during that span.

PULLING AN ALL-NIGHTER: On August 1, the Redbirds' game against the Albuquerque Isotopes lasted four hours and seven minutes, making it the longest game of the season for the Redbirds. It also became the second-longest nine-inning game in franchise history, falling just two minutes short of matching the record of 4:09, set on June 15, 2013 against the Isotopes at Isotopes Park. It was also the first four-hour game the Redbirds have played in since June 11, 2017 vs. Nashville in a 12-inning affair.


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