Game Notes: Memphis Redbirds (65-67) at New Orleans Baby Cakes (69-61)
Memphis Redbirds (65-67) vs New Orleans Baby Cakes (69-61)
Monday, August 26 - 6:30 p.m. (CT) - The Shrine on Airline (10,000) - New Orleans, Louisiana
Game #133 - Road Game #63 (32-30)
RHP Jake Woodford (8-7, 4.03) vs RHP Nick Neidert (3-2, 4.05)
BY THE NUMBERS
15 Number of home runs hit by Adolis Garcia with two outs this season. That figure ranks T-1st in the Pacific Coast League. He also has 36 RBI with two outs and that ranks T-9th in the PCL.
43 Number of home runs hit by the Redbirds this month. This is just the fourth time in franchise history that a Redbird team has hit at least 40 home runs in a single month and the first time since August 2010.
TONIGHT'S GAME: The Memphis Redbirds begin an eight-game road to end the season with a four-game set against the New Orleans Baby Cakes. This is the final series to be played at The Shrine on Airline with the Baby Cakes moving to Wichita next season. The Redbirds ended their 11-game homestand with a 9-2 win over the Storm Chasers to earn a three-game series sweep. Rangel Ravelo and Adolis Garcia combined for three home runs and six RBI in yesterday's contest. Garcia became just the eighth Redbird in franchise history to reach the 30 HR mark and was also the first Redbird to reach 90 RBI in a season since Nick Stavinoha in 2011. Randy Arozarena went 2-for-5 and how now reached base safely in 41-straight starts. Tonight'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 tonight's game and make his 25th start of the season in tonight's game. He has made at least 20 starts in each of his four full seasons as a professional and tonight is his 100th start in his career. In his last time out on Wednesday vs. Round Rock, he took no-decision (6.2 IP, 7 H, 4 R/ER, 1 BB, 4 SO, 3 HR) in the Redbirds' 5-4 victory over the Express. His streak of two-straight quality starts was ended, but he has worked at least 6.0 innings in his last four starts. He has made three quality starts in his last six. Even though he allowed four earned runs, Woodford has still allowed two earned runs or fewer in 14 of his 24 starts and he has allowed just six earned runs over his last 18.2 innings pitched. Overall he has allowed two earned runs or fewer in seven of his last 12. He matched a season-low by issuing just one walk for the first time since June 16 vs. Las Vegas. He allowed seven hits in 28 at-bats, slightly raising his opponent's average to .224 (115x514). That figure is the lowest in the Pacific Coast League among qualifiers. He has also fanned at least six batters in four of his last six starts. He ranks 3rd in the PCL with 122 strikeouts on the season. Woodford continues to be even stingier against right-handed batters, holding them to just a .200 (60x300) average. That figure is the lowest among active Redbirds starters. He also ranks 3rd in the PCL with a 4.03 ERA and has allowed one earned run or fewer in nine of his 24 outings. Despite taking no-decision in his last start, Woodford has won 18 of his last 31 decisions overall at the Triple-A level. Woodford has made one start against New Orleans on July 3 at AutoZone Park, where he suffered the loss (5.0 IP, 4 H, 4 R/ER, 5 BB, 4 SO, 2 HR, 2 HBP) in the Redbirds' 4-3 defeat to the Baby Cakes. 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. 15 prospect in the organization by MLB.com.
The Baby Cakes are scheduled to start right-hander Nick Neidert in tonight's series opener. The 22-year-old is scheduled to make his eighth start for New Orleans and his 12th appearance overall across all levels this season. In his seven starts at the Triple-A level this season, Neidert has gone 3-2, 4.05 (15 ER/33.1 IP) and is yielding an opponent's average of .256 (32x125). In his last time out on Tuesday vs. Omaha, he earned took no-decision (6.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R/ER, 0 BB, 10 SO, 1 HBP) during the Baby Cakes' 7-5 defeat to the Storm Chasers. His 10 strikeouts set a season-high and is was the first time since Aug. 4, 2018 with Double-A Jacksonville that he has hit double-digits. It was also his first start with the Baby Cakes this season that he has issued no walks. During his second stint with the Baby Cakes this season dating back to August 4, Neidert has gone 2-0, 1.96 (5 ER/23.0 IP) to go along with 26 whiffs and eight walks in four starts. The Baby Cakes are 3-1 in those contests. Tonight will be his first appearance against the Redbirds in his career. He began the season with New Orleans, going 1-2, 8.71 (10 ER/10.1 IP) in three starts. He was later placed on the 7-Day Injured List on April 29 due to right knee tendinitis. Over four starts with the GCL Marlins and Advanced-A Jupiter, Neidert went 0-1, 3.46 (5 ER/13.0 IP) with nine strikeouts and five walks. The Atlanta native is in his fifth professional season and his second with the Miami organization. He spent the first three years of his professional career within various levels in the Seattle organization. He entered the season ranked as the No. 4 prospect in the Marlins system by Baseball America and is currently ranked as the No. 12 prospect in the organization by MLB.com.
HISTORY WITH NEW ORLEANS: Memphis has faced off against New Orleans every year since 1998 and trail 171-177 in the all-time series. In the 10 years that the Redbirds have faced off against the Miami Triple-A affiliate in New Orleans, the 'Birds have winning records at the Shrine on Airline in just three seasons, 2009 (5-3), 2013 (5-3) and 2017 (6-3). Despite the Redbirds overall dominance in 2018, they went 7-9 against the Baby Cakes, including a 4-4 record at home. Their overall record against the Miami Triple-A affiliate in New Orleans is 86-86.
Memphis has faced off with Miami's top affiliate every year since 2003. From 2003-08, the Albuquerque Isotopes played host for the Marlins Triple-A club, where the Redbirds had a 44-54 record over six seasons. Over the 16 seasons that the Redbirds have faced off against Miami's Triple-A club, the 'Birds trail 130-139 overall.
ABOUT THE LAST ONE: The Memphis Redbirds won their sixth-straight game and 14th in their last 16 contests Sunday afternoon at AutoZone Park with a 9-2 triumph over the Omaha Storm Chasers (Royals) to complete a three-game sweep.
The Redbirds close their regular-season home slate with a 10-1 homestand, setting a new franchise record for most wins during a single homestand.
Adolis Garcia hit two home runs in the game, giving him 30 on the season, and he now has 92 RBI in 2019. He is the eighth Redbird to have at least 30 long balls in a single season, and he is the first Memphis hitter to drive in 90-plus in a year since Nick Stavinoha plated 109 in 2011.
Daniel Ponce de Leon earned his fourth-straight win with 5.0 innings of work, allowing two runs on four hits and striking out six. Junior Fernandez, Zac Rosscup, and Chasen Shreve finished the game with 4.0 scoreless innings of relief.
Along with Garcia's game, Rangel Ravelo was 3-for-5 with a double, a home run, and three RBI. Justin Williams also homered for his third round-tripper in the last four games.
Randy Arozarena had two singles and has now reached base in 41-straight starts, and Dylan Carlson singled and has at least one hit in all 10 games he has started as a Redbird.
Memphis outscored Omaha in the series, 22-3, and has outscored its last four opponents 36-5. Memphis pitching limited the Storm Chasers to 13 hits in the series.
The game started after a 1:43 rain delay.
NINE UP, NINE DOWN: In Saturday night's game against Omaha, Genesis Cabrera became just the second pitcher in Pacific Coast League history to strikeout nine-straight batters in a game. From the last two outs of the third inning to the first out in the sixth, Cabrera punched-out nine in a row, six swinging and three looking to equal Alex Reyes' record, set last year on May 23 vs. Oklahoma City. The two Redbird pitchers are the only players in PCL history to have fanned nine consecutive batters.
REDBIRDS SLUG WAY INTO RECORD BOOKS: Adolis Garcia's home run in the second inning of Friday night's game against the Storm Chasers was the Redbirds 174th long ball of the season, matching the franchise record set by the 2004 team. Andrew Knizner made history two innings later by launching the team's 175th home run of the season. Randy Arozarena's home run in the eighth was the 84th home run hit at AutoZone Park this season, matching the franchise record set by the 2002 squad and later matched by the '04 team. Edmundo Sosa's home run in the first inning of last night's contest was the 85th at this facility, breaking the record. The Redbirds have already hit a franchise record 93 home runs on the road this season as well.
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 two home runs last night brought him to 55 in his Redbirds career, now just one shy of matching Scott Seabol for third. He also has 30 long balls on the season, becoming just the eighth Redbird to reach that mark. His three RBI last night brought him to 173 in his career, just three shy of matching Allen Craig for fourth. He also ranks T-3rd in triples (12), 7th in strikeouts (278), T-7th in hit by pitches (17) and 5th in extra-base hits (125).
ROSTER MOVES: The following roster moves were made prior to tonight's game: Tyler O'Neill's Major League rehab was transferred to Springfield.
In his three games with the Redbirds during the injury rehab, O'Neill went 3-for-9 (.333), scored one run, drew three walks and struck-out five times. In 41 total games for the Redbirds this season, O'Neill has posted a slash of .265/.325/.517/.842 with 11 home runs and 26 RBI.
DYLAN HITS DINGERS: Through his first-11 career games at the Triple-A level, Dylan Carlson has continued his torrid form with Double-A Springfield, posting a slash of .455/.510/.773/1.283 to go along with three home runs and seven RBI. He has at least two hits in seven of his last nine starts and has three-hit performances in three of his last six starts. He has hit safely in all 10 of his starts. He has homered in three of his last eight games. Through his first 11 games at the Triple-A level, Carlson ranks 2nd in the in the Pacific Coast League in hits (20), 3rd in average (.455), 5th in OBP (.510), 6th in OPS (1.283) and 8th in SLG (.773).
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 26 of their last 34 games and are now two games under .500, their lowest mark since May 24. The 27 wins are the most by any team in the Pacific Coast League and they are one of only two teams with more than 24 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 (3.74), hits (263), runs (133), earned runs (129), strikeouts (344), WHIP (1.33), and average (.230) and in home runs allowed (35), while ranking 3rd in saves (11). They have also posted four shutouts during that span, one of just two teams in the PCL to have more than three.
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 28 games, Sosa has posted a slash of .373/.400/.559/.959 and has hits in 25 of those contests. His average ranks 5th in Pacific Coast League over that time frame. He has four doubles, six home runs and 25 RBI during that span, and has multi-hit performances in 13 games. He has also raised his batting average from .252 to .286.
PONCE DE LEON DOMINANT IN AUGUST: 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 five starts this month, Ponce de Leon has gone 4-0, 0.93 (3 ER/29.0 IP) and has fanned 39 batters compared to just 13 walks issued. Through 16 starts with Memphis this season, he has held opponents to a .203 average (62x2306), 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.
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