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Game Notes: Memphis Redbirds (69-69) at Iowa Cubs (73-65)

September 1, 2019 - Pacific Coast League (PCL) - Memphis Redbirds News Release

Memphis Redbirds (69-69) at Iowa Cubs (73-65)

Sunday, September 1 - 1:08 p.m. (CT) - Principal Park (11,000) - Des Moines, Iowa

Game #139 - Road Game #69 (36-32)

RHP Jake Woodford (9-7, 3.95) vs RHP Kendall Graveman (0-0, -.--)

BY THE NUMBERS

16 Number of home runs with two outs by Adolis Garcia this season. That figure leads the Pacific Coast League. He also ranks T-7th in the PCL with 38 RBI in those situations.

65 Number of different players to appear on the Redbirds roster this season after Connor Jones and Roel Ramirez joined the team yesterday. The 2019 Redbirds are just one new player shy of matching the franchise record of 66, set during last season.

THE GAME

TODAY'S GAME: The Memphis Redbirds continue their eight-game road trip to end the season in the third of four games against the Iowa Cubs. The Redbirds evened up the series with a 3-1 win last night. For the third time this month, the 'Birds pitching staff held an opponent to two hits or fewer in a contest. Seth Elledge, Roel Ramirez and Chasen Shreve combined for 7.0 scoreless frames to begin the contest and Kodi Whitley carried a combined no-hitter into the eighth until Zack Short doubled with one out. The Redbirds are still in search of their first no-no in franchise history. Elledge has now tossed 7.0 scoreless innings over his last two starts and Ramirez earned the win in his Triple-A debut. Adolis Garcia launched his 31st home run of the year in the first, moving him into a five-way tie for 5th for most homers in a season in franchise history. Randy Arozarena went 0-for-4, ending his on-base streak in starts at 46 games. Today'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 today's game and make his 26th start of the season. He has made at least 20 starts in each of his four full seasons as a professional. In his last time out on Tuesday at New Orleans in the opener of the doubleheader, earning the win (5.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R/ER, 2 BB, 1 SO, 1 HR) in the Redbirds' 3-2 victory over the Baby Cakes. Woodford has allowed two hits or fewer in two of his last three starts and he has also allowed one earned run or fewer in two of his last three as well. He has allowed just seven earned runs over his last 23.2 innings pitched. Overall he has allowed two earned runs or fewer in eight of his last 13. He fanned a season-low one batter and it was the fewest strikeouts recorded by Woodford since July 5, 2018 vs. Omaha. His opponent's average of .220 (117x531) ranks the lowest in the Pacific Coast League among qualifiers. He also ranks 3rd in the PCL with 123 strikeouts on the season. Woodford continues to be even stingier against right-handed batters, holding them to just a .199 (62x312) average. That figure is the lowest among active Redbirds starters. He also ranks T-3rd in the PCL with a 3.95 ERA and has allowed one earned run or fewer in 10 of his 25 outings. With the win, Woodford has won 19 of his last 32 decisions overall at the Triple-A level. He has made two starts against Iowa this season, going a combined 1-0, 3.27 (4 ER/11.0 IP) to go along with 11 strikeouts and six walks. Woodford last faced the Cubs on August 16 at AutoZone Park, where he earned the win (6.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R/ER, 4 BB, 7 SO) in the Redbirds' 8-2 victory. 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 Cubs are scheduled to start right-hander Kendall Graveman in today's. The 28-year-old is making his second start during his Major League rehab assignment as he recovers from Tommy John surgery that he had last July. In his last time out on August 22 in his organizational debut with the AZL Cubs 1, he took no-decision in the start (3.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R/ER, 0 BB, 6 SO) in the teams' 12-11 defeat to the AZL Athletics Green. It was Graveman's first appearance since May 24, 2018 with Triple-A Nashville while pitching in the Athletics system. During the 2018 season, Graveman got the nod as the A's Opening Day starter, but went 0-5, 8.89 (28 ER/28.1 IP) over his first six starts of the campaign, which led to him being optioned to Nashville. Following two starts in the Music City, he made one more start with the A's, earning a win at Yankee Stadium on May 11, 2018 (6.0 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 SO, 2 HR) in Oakland's 10-5 victory. Graveman was signed by the Cubs in December of last year, in a one-year deal with a club option for 2020. The Alexander City, Ala., native is in his seventh professional season. He spent the first two years of his professional career pitching at various levels within the Toronto organization before being acquired by the Athletics in the Josh Donaldson trade in 2014.

HISTORY WITH IOWA: Memphis has faced off against Iowa every year since 1998 and lead 174-142 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 71-87.

THE SEASON

ABOUT THE LAST ONE: Four Memphis Redbirds pitchers held the Iowa Cubs (Cubs) hitless until one out in the bottom of the eighth inning, and the Redbirds went on to finish off a 3-1 win Saturday night in Des Moines, Iowa.

Seth Elledge, Roel Ramirez, and Chasen Shreve pitched 7.0 hitless innings, and Kodi Whitley got the first out in the bottom of the eighth before Zack Short doubled for the Cubs. Iowa (73-65) scored its only run of the game on a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth, and the Redbirds held Iowa to two hits in the game.

The win is Memphis' (69-69) 18th in its last 22 games. The Redbirds finished the month of August with a 22-7 record for the winningest August in franchise history. The 22 wins match July 2017 for the most victories in a single month in the history of the club.

Adolis Garcia hit a two-run home run in the top of the first inning to open the scoring, his 31st of the season, and he now has 95 RBI on the season. The 31 long balls are tied for fifth-most by a player in a season in franchise history, and the 95 runs driven in are sixth-most.

Memphis' other run in the game was a Jose Martinez single in the seventh inning that scored Max Schrock. Martinez finished 2-for-4, and Schrock stole his 12th base of the season in the game.

Randy Arozarena was 0-for-4, ending his hitting streak at nine games and his streak of consecutive starts reaching base at 46. He had reached base at least once in every start he made as a Redbird since June 26.

Ramirez earned the win in his Triple-A debut after being transferred from Double-A Springfield earlier in the day, as he tossed scoreless fourth and fifth innings with three strikeouts.

REDBIRDS SOAR IN AUGUST: Last night's victory over the I-Cubs was the Redbirds 22nd win of the month, setting a new franchise record for the most wins in August. The 'Birds were a powerhouse at the plate and on the mound all month long as they became just the second team in club history to win 22 games in a month, joining the 2017 Redbirds, who won 22 games in July. This was also just the sixth time in franchise history that a team has posted 20 wins a month, with four of them happening in August. Offensively, the team led the Pacific Coast League in OBP (.393), slugging (.527) and OPS (.919) while ranking 2nd in home runs (54) and 3rd in average (.307). On the bump, the 'Birds led the PCL in ERA (3.25), hits (200), runs (96), earned runs (91) home runs allowed (22), WHIP (1.25) and average (.216), while ranking T-1st in saves (10).

ROSTER MOVES: The following roster moves were made prior to last night's game: Junior Fernandez, Andrew Knizner and Mike Mayers were all added to the MLB Taxi Squad, and Connor Jones and Roel Ramirez were transferred from Springfield.

Fernandez, Kninzer and Mayers are slated to be added to the Cardinals today as MLB rosters expand to the full 40-man.

Jones joins Memphis for the first time since Aug. 15, 2018 after going 1-1, 4.66 (25 ER/48.1 IP) in 42 games at Double-A Springfield. He also went 9-for-11 in save opportunities. During his lone Triple-A stint last year, he went 1-0, 6.46 (11 ER/15.1 IP) in four games.

Ramirez, who made his Triple-A debut last night, Went 5-3, 4.98 (40 ER/72.1 IP) in 41 games, five starts at Double-A Springfield, where he whiffed 80 batters compared to 29 walks issued. He also converted one of his three save chances.

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 31 of their last 41 games and are back at .500 with a chance to have a winning record for the first time since May 17. The 31 wins are the most by any team in the Pacific Coast League and they are only team with more than 27 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 (3.71), hits (307), runs (154), earned runs (148), WHIP (1.31), and average (.231) and in home runs allowed (41), while ranking T-1st in saves (14) and in 3rd strikeouts (386). 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 34 games, Sosa has posted a slash of .371/.399/.557/.956 and has hits in 28 of those contests. His average is the T-2nd 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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