Game Notes: Memphis Redbirds (66-68) at New Orleans Baby Cakes (70-62)
Memphis Redbirds (66-68) at New Orleans Baby Cakes (70-62)
Wednesday, August 28 - 6:30 p.m. (CT) - The Shrine on Airline (10,000) - New Orleans, Louisiana
Game #135 - Road Game #65 (33-31)
RHP Chris Ellis (4-5, 7.10) vs RHP Kolton Mahoney (1-0, 3.38)
BY THE NUMBERS
0 Number of runs allowed by Seth Elledge over 4.0 innings of work in just the second start of his career. Elledge allowed just two hits and fanned two batters, while facing the minimum amount of batters.
43 Number of consecutive starts that Randy Arozarena has reached base safely. This streak dates back to June 26. During that span, Arozarena is slashing .391/.465/.626/1.091 and has eight home runs and 27 RBI. His average during that time frame ranks 3rd in the Pacific Coast League.
TONIGHT'S GAME: The Memphis Redbirds continue their eight-game road trip to end the season with in the third of four games against the New Orleans Baby Cakes. The two teams split yesterday's doubleheader, with the Redbirds winning the opener 3-2 and falling in the nightcap 5-4. Tonight's game will be broadcast live on www.memphisredbirds.com with Steve Selby on the call.
ON THE HILL: Right-hander Chris Ellis is scheduled to take the mound in tonight's game and make his 39th appearance and sixth start for the Redbirds in tonight's game. In his last time out on Thursday at Round Rock, Ellis took no-decision in the start (2.1 IP, 0 H, 1 R/ER, 3 BB, 0 SO, 3 HBP) in the Redbirds' 14-2 victory over the Express. Ellis was ejected in the third inning of the ballgame after hitting his third batter. It was the first time this season that Ellis had hit more than one batter in a game. He has walked three batters or more in two of his last four starts and has also recorded no strikeouts in two of his last four as well. It was his second shortest start since joining the Redbirds rotation. Ellis has still allowed two earned runs or fewer in three of his four starts since joining the Redbirds rotation. As a starter this season, he has gone 1-1, 8.47 (16 ER/17.0 IP) in his five starts compared to 3-4, (40 ER/54.0 IP) as a reliever in 33 appearances. He made 14 starts for the 'Birds last season and went 4-4, 4.16 (33 ER/7.1 IP) in 14 starts. Ellis has made five relief appearances against New Orleans this season, going a combined 1-0, 1.96 (2 ER/9.2 IP) with seven strikeouts and one walk. He last faced the Baby Cakes on July 25 at AutoZone Park, where he tossed 3.2 scoreless innings in relief, fanning three batters and allowing four hits in the Redbirds' 3-1 victory. Ellis' last start against the Express came on Aug. 23, 2018 at The Shrine on Airline, where he took no-decision (4.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R/ER, 1 BB, 8 SO) in the Redbirds' 5-3 triumph. He made his Major League debut this season on March 31 with the Kansas City Royals vs. the Chicago White Sox at Kauffman Stadium, tossing a scoreless ninth inning. He was later returned to the Cardinals via the Rule 5 process on April 9 after being designated for assignment by the Royals on April 3. The Birmingham, Ala., native is in his sixth professional season and his third within the St. Louis organization. He has also spent time in the Los Angeles-AL, Atlanta and Kansas City organizations.
The Baby Cakes are scheduled to start right-hander Kolton Mahoney in tonight's contest. The 27-year-old is scheduled to his second start for the Baby Cakes and his 30th appearance overall across all levels this season. Mahoney has gone 1-0, 3.38 (4 ER/10.2 IP) in two games, one start with the Baby Cakes this season. In his last time out on Friday vs. Mobile with Double-A Jacksonville, he suffered his third-straight defeat (7.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R/ER, 2 BB, 7 SO) in the Jumbo Shrimps' 1-0 defeat to the BayBears. In his third stint at Jacksonville this season, Mahoney went 0-3, 5.21 (11 ER/19.0 IP) to go along with 21 strikeouts and five walks. He also yielded an opponent's average of .264 (19x72). His last appearance for New Orleans came on August 5 at Salt Lake, where he took no-decision in the start (5.0 IP, 7 H, 2 R/ER, 2 BB, 5 SO, 1 HBP) in the Baby Cakes' 5-2 victory over the Bees. Mahoney began the year at Jacksonville where he went 1-0, 3.18 (14 ER/39.2 IP) in 19 games, three starts. He made his first Triple-A appearance of the season on July 1 against the Redbirds, where he earned the win in relief (5.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R/ER, 2 BB, 3 SO, 1 HR, 1 HBP) in the Baby Cakes' 4-3 victory. The Layton, Utah, native is in his fifth professional season and his third within the Miami organization. He had spent the first two years of his professional career within various levels of the New York-AL organization.
HISTORY WITH NEW ORLEANS: Memphis has faced off against New Orleans every year since 1998 and trail 172-178 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 87-87.
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 131-140 overall.
ABOUT THE LAST ONE: The Memphis Redbirds (66-68) split their doubleheader with the New Orleans Baby Cakes (Marlins) Tuesday in New Orleans.
Game 1: Memphis 3, New Orleans 2
Monday night's rain didn't cool off the red-hot Redbirds, as they extended their winning streak to a season-high seven games.
John Nogowski opened the scoring in the first with a two-out single to score Randy Arozarena, who had led off the game with a double.
Arozarena has reached safely in 42-straight starts and extended his hitting streak to six games.
With the game tied at 1-1 heading into the sixth, Justin Williams began the frame with a solo shot to center to give the Redbirds the lead. Williams has homered in three-straight games and in four of his last five.
Jake Woodford allowed just one run on two hits, fanning one batter and issuing two walks. Woodford has earned the win in three of his last four starts.
Jose Godoy also delivered a pinch-hit sacrifice fly in the sixth, which proved to be the decisive run in the contest.
Mike Mayers earned his fifth save of the season, despite allowing two hits and a run. He has converted five-straight save opportunities.
Game 2: New Orleans 5, Memphis 4
With the Redbirds trailing 4-1 in top of the seventh and down to their last strike, Randy Arozarena hit a dramatic three-run home run to tie the game, but the Redbirds fell just shy as the Baby Cakes won in walk-off fashion in the bottom half of the frame to earn the doubleheader split.
The Baby Cakes (70-62) broke a scoreless deadlock in the fifth with a solo home run from Tyler Heineman to briefly take the lead.
The Redbirds responded immediately with Arozarena leading off the sixth with a walk and later scoring on a double from Edmundo Sosa to bring the Redbirds level. Arozarena has now reached safely in 43-straight starts.
New Orleans would score three times with two outs in the bottom of sixth to take the lead and looked poised to ease to victory after retiring the first two Redbirds to start the seventh.
Jose Martinez drew a walk and Justin Williams followed with a pinch-hit single to set up Arozarena's heroics.
Seth Elledge made his second start of the season and allowed just two hits of work over 4.0 innings, his longest outing of the season. He faced the minimum and whiffed two batters.
The Redbirds have split five of their six doubleheaders this season.
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 Saturday 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 Sunday 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 Sunday 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 (279), 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: Zac Rosscup was placed on the 7-Day injured list and Bryan Dobzanski was transferred from Double-A Springfield.
Rosscup had gone 0-0, 4.50 (4 ER/8.0 IP) in eight relief appearances for the Redbirds after joining the team on July 30.
Dobzanski joins the Redbirds and is slated to make his Triple-A debut with his first game appearance. In 43 games, one start between Springfield and Advanced-A Palm Beach, he has gone 3-2, 2.53 (15 ER/53.1 IP) with 62 strikeouts and 25 walks. After going 1-1, 0.89 (2 ER/20.1 IP) at Palm Beach to begin the season, he has named a Florida State League Mid-Season All-Star. He made his Double-A debut on June 9.
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 28 of their last 37 games and are now two games under .500, their lowest mark since May 24. The 28 wins are the most by any team in the Pacific Coast League and they only team with more than 25 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 (3.75), hits (278), runs (140), earned runs (135), WHIP (1.33), and average (.232) and in home runs allowed (38), while ranking 2nd in strikeouts (351) and 3rd in saves (12). They have also posted four shutouts during that span, one of just two teams in the PCL to have more than three.
DYLAN HITS DINGERS: In his first-11 career games at the Triple-A level, Dylan Carlson had 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 had at least two hits in seven of his last nine starts during that span and has three-hit performances in three of his last six starts. He had hit safely in all 10 of those starts. He had also homered in three of his last eight games during that span. Over his first 11 games at the Triple-A level, Carlson ranked 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).
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 30 games, Sosa has posted a slash of .368/.394/.552/.946 and has hits in 26 of those contests. His average ranks T-4th in Pacific Coast League over that time frame. He has five doubles, six home runs and 26 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 PCL if he qualified.
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