Game Notes: Memphis Redbirds (62-67) vs Omaha Storm Chasers (55-73)
Memphis Redbirds (62-67) vs Omaha Storm Chasers (55-73)
Friday, August 23 - 7:05 p.m. (CT) - AutoZone Park (10,000) - Memphis, Tennessee
Game #130 - Home Game #68 (30-37)
LHP Austin Warner (3-2, 6.38) vs RHP Heath Fillmyer (2-2, 5.16)
BY THE NUMBERS
80 Number of home runs hit at AutoZone Park this season after the Redbirds five-home run outburst last night. The franchise record for home runs at this facility in a single season is 84, set by the 2002 and '04 squads.
18 Hits by Dylan Carlson in his first seven games at the Triple-A level. The Cardinals No. 2 prospect has at least two hits in seven-straight. He has also homered three times in his last five.
TONIGHT'S GAME: The Memphis Redbirds continue their 11-game homestand in the first of three games against the Omaha Storm Chasers in the final home series this season. The Redbirds earned a series win with a 14-2 win over the Round Rock Express. Randy Arozarena led off the game with a home run on the first pitch he saw to begin the Redbirds slugfest. Dylan Carlson, Andrew Knizner, John Nogowski and Just Williams all homered for the 'Birds, as they matched a season-high with five home runs. Carlson has now had at least two-hits in seven-straight games and has posted an extraordinary 1.520 OPS through eight games at the Triple-A level. Williams set a season-high with his five-RBI performance. Tonight's game will be broadcast live on www.memphisredbirds.com with Steve Selby on the call.
ON THE HILL: Left-hander Austin Warner is scheduled to take the mound in series opener and make his tenth start for Memphis and his 24th overall start this season across all levels. In nine starts with the Redbirds, Warner has gone 3-2, 6.38 (34 ER/48.0 IP) to go along with 48 strikeouts and 25 walks. In his last time out on Sunday vs. Iowa, he earned the win for the second-straight start (5.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R/ER, 4 BB, 5 SO, 1 HR) in the Redbirds' 14-2 victory over the Cubs. Warner allowed a season-low three hits at the Triple-A level, lowering his opponent's average to .307 (59x192). He also matched a season-low with two earned runs allowed and he has now allowed three earned runs or fewer in three-straight starts after allowing four-or-more in three-straight. In 48.0 innings of work at Memphis, Warner has allowed 14 home runs compared to allowing just 10 long balls in 82.1 innings at the Double-A level. He has allowed at least one long ball in eight of his nine starts. This is the first time that he will be facing the Storm Chasers in his career. Warner began the season going 4-6, 3.83 (35 ER/82.1 IP) in 15 games, 14 starts with Double-A Springfield this season. In his 14 starts, eight of them were quality starts and he has made four-straight such outings at that level. Warner was named Texas League Pitcher of the Week for the week of June 10-16, where he went 2-0, 2.21 in two starts, struck-out 16 batters during that span. His performances this season led him to be named a TL Mid-Season All-Star, where he pitched a scoreless inning, fanning one in his appearance on June 25. Warner left the TL ranking 2nd with 88 strikeouts in 82.1 innings. He also ranked 8th with a 3.83 ERA. He made his 2019 Memphis debut on June 30 vs. New Orleans, where he took no-decision (6.0 IP, 6 H, 5 R/ER, 3 BB, 3 SO, 3 HR) in the Redbirds' 10-6 victory over the Baby Cakes. The Louisville, Ky., native is in his third professional season and has spent them all within the St. Louis organization. He entered the season ranked as the No. 30 prospect in the St. Louis organization by Baseball America and is currently ranked as the No. 26 prospect in the system by MLB.com.
The Storm Chasers are scheduled to start right-hander Heath Fillmyer in tonight's series opener. The 25-year-old is scheduled to make his tenth start for Omaha and his 23rd appearance overall across all levels this season. Over his 16 games and nine starts at the Triple-A level this season, Fillmyer has gone 2-2, 5.16 (26 ER/45.1 IP) and is yielding an opponent's average of .266 (46x173). In his last time out on Wednesday at New Orleans, he tossed a scoreless seventh inning in relief during the Storm Chasers' 5-3 defeat to the Baby Cakes. During his third stint with the Storm Chasers this season starting on July 21, Fillmyer has made seven relief appearances, going 0-0, 4.32 (4 ER/8.1 IP) to go along with eight strikeouts and five walks. He made his last start on August 8 vs. Salt Lake, where he took no-decision (2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R/ER, 1 BB, 3 SO) in the Storm Chasers' 8-6 victory over the Bees. Fillmyer has faced the Redbirds twice this season, making one start and one relief appearance. He last faced the Redbirds on July 19, tossing 0.2 innings in relief, allowing one run on two hits during the Storm Chasers' 8-4 defeat. His lone start against the 'Birds this season came on Opening Night, April 4. He suffered the loss (4.0 IP, 7 H, 6 R/ER, 4 BB, 3 SO, 1 HR, 1 HBP) in the Storm Chasers' 9-2 defeat. The Roebling, N.J., native is in sixth professional season and his second within the Kansas City organization. He spent the first three years of his professional career within the Oakland organization.
HISTORY WITH OMAHA: The Redbirds have winning records in each of the past four seasons here at AutoZone Park, going a combined 22-10 at this facility during that span. The 'Birds have winning records in downtown Memphis in 11 of 21 seasons at home against the Storm Chasers, with their last year losing the series in the Bluff City coming in 2013. Memphis holds a 169-145 edge overall, and an 86-70 margin at home. The Redbirds have not had a losing record overall 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: Seven Memphis Redbirds hitters had multi-hit games in a 17-hit barrage as the club clinched a series win over the first-place Round Rock Express (Astros) with a 14-2 victory Thursday night at AutoZone Park.
The Redbirds (62-67) have won 11 of their last 13 games and eight of their last nine series overall.
Memphis matched its season high with five home runs in the game, started by Randy Arozarena ripping the first pitch in the bottom of the first inning out of the ballpark. Dylan Carlson, Andrew Knizner, John Nogowski, and Justin Williams also had long balls for the Redbirds.
Williams' was a three-run shot in bottom of the eighth, and he finished with five RBI.
Carlson continued his hot hitting for the Redbirds, as his 2-for-5 showing gives him a hit in all eight games he has played in Triple-A and multi-hit games in each of his last seven.
After Chris Ellis was ejected from the game in the third inning, Seth Elledge, Chasen Shreve, Kodi Whitley, and Zac Rosscup finished the win for the Redbirds.
The game started after a 53-minute rain delay before first pitch.
ROSTER MOVES: The following roster moves were made prior to last night's game: Dominic Leone was recalled by St. Louis and Junior Fernandez was optioned by St. Louis.
Leone returns to the Cardinals for his fourth stint at the Major League level this season. During his second stint with the Redbirds this season, he went 1-0, 0.73 (1 ER/12.1 IP) in 10 games, fanning 23 batters and issuing just two walks. He held opponents to just a .159 (7x44) average. Following his appearance on Tuesday, Leone had held opponents scoreless in his last 8.0 innings pitched (7 G).
Fernandez returns to the Redbirds following his first career stint at the MLB level. The Cardinals No. 10 prospect (MLB.com) went 0-0, 3.60 (2 ER/5.0 IP) in five games, whiffing seven and walking three. He made his debut on August 11 vs. Pittsburgh, where he allowed two runs on two hits in 0.2 innings of work. Over his next four outings, Fernandez did not allow a run over 4.1 innings and allowed just two hits in 19 batters faced during that span.
DYLAN HITS DINGERS: Through his first-eight career games at the Triple-A level, Dylan Carlson has continued his torrid form with Double-A Springfield, posting a slash of .529/.579/.941/1.520 to go along with three home runs and seven RBI. He has at least two hits in seven-straight games and has three-hit performances in three of his last four contests. He has homered in three of his last five games. Through his first eight games at the Triple-A level, Carlson ranks 1st in the in the Pacific Coast League in hits (18) 2nd in OBP (.579), 2nd in average (.529), 4th in OPS (1.520) and 6th in SLG (.931). At the time of his promotion to Memphis, Carlson led the Texas League with 21 home runs. Carlson also ranked 1st in TL in SLG (.518), runs (81) and XBH (51), 2nd in OPS (.882), 4th in OBP (.364), 6th in hits (117), T-6th in 2B (24), T-6th in 3B (6), 7th in RBI (59) and T-8th in SB (18).
KINGS OF THE HILL: After falling to a season-low 21 games under .500 following their 11-8 defeat at Round Rock on July 17, the Redbirds have won 24 of their last 32 games and are now five games under .500, their lowest mark since May 27. The 24 wins are the most by any team in the Pacific Coast League and they are one of only two teams with more than 20 wins during that span. Their turnaround has been backed by stellar pitching, as the Redbirds pitching staff leads the PCL in several different categories. They lead the league in ERA (4.00), hits (250), runs (130), earned runs (126), WHIP (1.36), strikeouts (306) and average (.238), while ranking T-1st in saves (11) and in home runs allowed (34). They have also posted three shutouts during that span, one of just two teams in the PCL to have more than two.
SOSA CONTINUES SURGE: Following his return from a brief three-game stint with the St. Louis Cardinals on July 21, Edmundo Sosa has been dominant at the plate for the Redbirds and has played a large part in their late-season turnaround. In his last 25 games, Sosa has posted a slash of .385/.409/.567/.976 and has hits in 23 of those contests. His average ranks T-6th in Pacific Coast League over that time frame. He has four doubles, five home runs and 22 RBI during that span, and has multi-hit performances in 12 games. He has also raised his batting average from .252 to .286.
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 and a dominant 7.0 two-hit innings on August 9 at Sacramento, Daniel Ponce de Leon dazzled again on August 15 by twirling 7.0 scoreless frames against the Cubs, allowing just two hits and whiffing nine batters. In Tuesday night's start against Round Rock, he allowed just one run over 6.0 innings. In his last five starts with the Redbirds dating back to June 6 at Tacoma, Ponce de Leon has allowed just 10 hits in his last 27.0 innings with the Redbirds and has whiffed 35 batters during that span. Through 15 starts with Memphis this season, he has held opponents to a .202 average (58x287), a figure that would lead the Pacific Coast League if he qualified.
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 on August 12.
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 August 10 at Fresno, 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 Wednesday night was his 52nd in his Redbirds career, passing Patrick Wisdom and moving into 4th in franchise history. His three RBI over his last two games also moved him into 8th with 167, passing Pete Kozma at 164. He also ranks T-3rd in triples (12), 7th in strikeouts (276), T-7th in hit by pitches (17) and 6th in extra-base hits (121).
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