Game Notes: Memphis Redbirds (68-69) at Iowa Cubs (73-64)
Memphis Redbirds (68-69) at Iowa Cubs (73-64)
Saturday, August 31 - 7:08 p.m. (CT) - Principal Park (11,000) - Des Moines, Iowa
Game #138 - Road Game #68 (35-32)
RHP Seth Elledge (3-1, 5.17) vs RHP Tyson Miller (3-4, 8.14)
BY THE NUMBERS
46 Number of consecutive starts that Randy Arozarena has reached base safely. This streak dates back to June 26. He also currently has a season-high nine-game hitting streak. During that span, he is slashing .385/.460/.642/1.102. His average ranks 3rd in the Pacific Coast League during that time frame.
21 Number of wins by the Redbirds in August. A win tonight would make them the first team in franchise history to win 22 games in August. They would also be the first Redbird team to win 22 games in a month since July 2017.
TONIGHT'S GAME: The Memphis Redbirds continue their eight-game road trip to end the season in the second of four games against the Iowa Cubs. The Redbirds playoff hopes came to an end last night with their 5-1 defeat to the Cubs. It was their fewest runs scored in a game since scoring just two runs at Sacramento on August 8 and their five hits were also their fewest since August 7 at Sacramento as well. Tommy Parsons took the mound for his Triple-A debut and battled back after a tough first inning to toss four-straight scoreless frames. Dylan Carlson and Ramon Urias were the lone batters to have have at least two-hits in the contest. Randy Arozarena went 1-for-3 and he has now reached base safely in 46-straight starts. Tonight's game will be broadcast live on www.memphisredbirds.com with Steve Selby on the call.
ON THE HILL: Right-hander Seth Elledge is scheduled to make his third start and 21st appearance for the Redbirds in tonight's contest. It will be his 47th appearance overall across all levels this season. In his last time out on Tuesday at New Orleans in the nightcap of the doubleheader, he took no-decision in the start (4.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R/ER, 0 BB, 2 SO) in the Redbirds' 5-4 defeat to the Baby Cakes. In just his second start of his career, he faced the minimum over his 4.0 innings of work, which was the longest outing of his career. Elledge made his first scoreless appearance since August 8 and he has allowed at least two hits in his last four outings. As a starter this season, he has gone 0-0, 1. 50 (1 ER/6.0 IP) in two starts compared to 3-1, 6.04 (17 ER/25.1 IP) as a reliever in 18 outings. He has made three appearances against Iowa this season, going a combined 0-0, 5.81 (2 ER/3.1 IP) to go along with no strikeouts and two walks. His appearance on June 25 vs. Nashville was his first with the Redbirds since appearing in Game 1 of the Pacific Coast League Championship Series against Fresno last season. In that contest, Elledge tossed a scoreless ninth to close out a 10-4 victory for the Redbirds over the Grizzlies. Before being transferred to Memphis on June 25, he went 3-3, 3.78 (14 ER/33.1 IP) in 26 relief appearances for Double-A Springfield. Before getting transferred, Elledge went 1-0, 1.50 (2 ER/12.0 IP) in eight games, with seven of those outings being scoreless ones. Overall at Springfield, he converted three of seven save opportunities. The 23-year-old is in his third professional season and his second within the St. Louis organization. He spent the first two years of his career within the Seattle organization before being traded on July 27, 2018. During his 2018 campaign, he was named a California League Mid-Season All-Star while pitching for Modesto. The Dallas Baptist University product entered 2019 ranked as the No. 24 prospect in the Cardinals system by Baseball America and he is currently ranked as the No. 25 prospect in the system by MLB.com.
The Cubs are scheduled to start right-hander Tyson Miller in tonight's contest. The 24-year-old is slated to make his 11th start for Iowa and his 26th start across all levels this season. In his last time out on Monday at Oklahoma City, he earned the win (5.0 IP, 7 H, 2 R/ER, 1 BB, 6 SO) in the Cubs' 7-2 victory over the Dodgers. He earned his first win since August 10 and it was the fewest earned runs allowed in a start since that date as well. His six strikeouts were a season-high at the Triple-A level and it was his most strikeouts in a start since also fanning six on June 30 with Double-A Tennessee. He also did not allow a home run for the first time since July 13. At the plate, Miller slugged the first home run of his professional career with a three-run blast in the third. Miller made his Triple-A debut against Memphis on July 5 at Principal Park. He took no-decision (1.1 IP, 3 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 3 SO, 1 HR) in the Cubs' 9-8 victory over the Redbirds. He would later earn his first-career Triple-A win in his next start at Round Rock on July 13. Miller began the season at Double-A Tennessee and went 4-3, 2.56 (25 ER/88.0 IP) in 15 starts at the and was named Southern League Pitcher of the Week for May 6-12. He went 1-0, 0.69 (1 ER/13.0 IP) during that span and held opponents to a .178 (8x45) average. He was also named to and participated in the 2019 SL All-Star Game in Biloxi, Miss., on June 18. He spent all of 2018 at Advanced-A Myrtle Beach, going 9-9, 3.54 (50 ER/127.0 IP) in 23 starts for the Pelicans. The Fairfield, Calif., native is in his fourth professional season, spending all of them with the Chicago-NL organization. He is currently ranked as the No. 12 prospect in the Cubs system according to MLB.com.
HISTORY WITH IOWA: Memphis has faced off against Iowa every year since 1998 and lead 173-142 in the all-time series. In those 21 seasons, the Redbirds have a winning record against the Cubs in 11 seasons and have a losing record in just one season (2015) since 2013. The Redbirds posted their best record against the Cubs last season, going 14-2 overall, 6-2 at AutoZone Park and a whopping 8-0 on the road at Principal Park in Des Moines, Iowa.
Memphis has winning records in downtown Memphis in 17 seasons and has lost two home games each year to the Cubs since 2016. They have not had a losing record at home to the Cubs since 2012. Overall, they lead the series in the Bluff City with a 103-55 advantage.
At Principal Park, the Redbirds have winning records in each of the last two seasons and in three of the last five overall. They also only have winning records in five of 21 seasons in Des Moines, with this two-year stretch being the most successful in team history. They trail in the series there 70-87.
ABOUT THE LAST ONE: The Memphis Redbirds (68-69) fell behind 5-0 after the first inning and could not rally back against the Iowa Cubs (Cubs) Friday night in Des Moines, Iowa, in a 5-1 defeat.
The loss ends the Redbirds' hopes of winning their division for the third-straight season and ends their chance of defending their Triple-A National Champion crown in front of the hometown fans.
Iowa (73-64) jumped all over Redbird starter Tommy Parsons in the first inning, who was making his Triple-A debut after being transferred earlier today, by tagging him for five runs on three hits, highlighted by a grand slam by Robel Garcia.
After a tough start to his Triple-A career, Parsons battled back, allowing no runs on four hits over his last four innings of work. He whiffed six batters and issued two walks and threw 55 of his 91 pitches for strikes.
The Redbirds got on the board in the fifth inning, with Randy Arozarena leading off with a hit by a pitch. He would later score on a groundout by Rangel Ravelo. Arozarena finished the contest going 1-for-3 with a double, extending his hitting streak to a season-high nine games. He has also reached base safely in his last 46 starts.
Jesus Cruz was first out of the bullpen for the Redbirds, tossing two perfect frames and whiffing four batters. Cruz struck out the side in the sixth inning. Bryan Dobzanski pitched a scoreless ninth inning in his second Triple-A appearance of his career.
The offense was unable to find a timely hit all night, as the bats went 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position, stranding 11 runners overall. The Redbirds left runners in scoring position in five of the nine innings.
Dylan Carlson went 2-for-4 with a triple and he now has at least two hits in eight of his 14 starts with the Redbirds. Ramon Urias also had a two-hit game, collecting a pair of singles.
ROSTER MOVES: The following roster moves were made prior to tonight's game: Genesis Cabrera was recalled by St. Louis as the 26th man for the Cardinals' doubleheader today. The following moves were made prior to last night's game: Daniel Ponce de Leon was added to the Major League taxi squad and Tommy Parsons was transferred from Double-A Springfield.
Cabrera heads to St. Louis for the third time this season. In five games, two starts this season with the Cardinals, he has gone 0-2, 6.17 (8 ER/11.2 IP) and has 10 strikeouts and seven walks. He made his MLB debut on May 29 at Philadelphia.
Ponce de Leon is scheduled to be added to the Cardinals roster on Sunday and make a start during the doubleheader that day. In five starts with the Redbirds during his third Triple-A stint of the season, he went 4-0, 0.93 (3 ER/29.0 IP) and whiffed 39 batters with 13 walks issued. He was named Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Week for the week of August 5-11.
Parsons, who made his Triple-A debut last night, went a combined 11-8, 2.81 (50 ER/160.2) over 26 starts at Peoria, Palm Beach and Springfield. Parsons has now made his Single-A, Advanced-A, Double-A and Triple-A debuts this season, in just his second year as a professional.
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 30 of their last 40 games and prior to last night's loss, had a record at .500 for the first time since May 23. The 30 wins are the most by any team in the Pacific Coast League and they only team with more than 26 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 (3.78), hits (305), runs (153), earned runs (147), WHIP (1.33), and average (.234) and in home runs allowed (41), while ranking 3rd in saves (13) and in 4th strikeouts (374). 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 33 games, Sosa has posted a slash of .374/.401/.561/.962 and has hits in 28 of those contests. His average is the second-highest in Pacific Coast League over that time frame. He has five doubles, seven home runs and 28 RBI during that span, and has multi-hit performances in 15 games. He has also raised his batting average from .252 to .290.
NINE UP, NINE DOWN: On August 24 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. Prior to Reyes setting the record last season, the previous record of eight, which was set in 1910, stood for 107 years.
REDBIRDS SLUG WAY INTO RECORD BOOKS: Adolis Garcia's home run in the second inning of on August 23 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 103 home runs on the road this season as well. Their six home runs Thursday at New Orleans brought their August total to 53, becoming the first team in franchise history to slug at least 50 home runs in a month.
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 RBI on Wednesday brought him to 174 in his career, just two shy of matching Allen Craig for fourth. He also ranks T-3rd in triples (12), 7th in strikeouts (283), 7th in runs (176), T-7th in hit by pitches (17) and 5th in extra-base hits (125). Garcia has also scored a franchise record 93 runs this season and is also the first player since Josh Phelps in 2008 to score at least 90 runs, drive in at least 90 runs in a season and slug at least 30 home runs in a season.
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