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Memphis Redbirds Game Notes: May 4, 2021

May 4, 2021 - Triple-A East League (AAA East) - Memphis Redbirds News Release

Tuesday, May 4th 6:45 p.m CT || Memphis Redbirds (0-0) vs Durham Bulls (0-0)

AutoZone Park || Memphis, TN || Game #1 of 120 || Home Game #1 of 60

RHP Tommy Parsons vs RHP Chris Ellis

Radio/MiLB TV: Evan Stockton & Justin Gallanty

Bird Bites

The Start of a New Era: The Memphis Redbirds will take the field for the first time ever as a member of the newly formed Triple-A East league, after playing in the Pacific Coast League from 1998-2020. Memphis won the PCL Championship in 2000, 2009, 2017 and 2018. The Redbirds also captured the 2018 Triple-A National Championship. Memphis will compete in the Southeast Division of Triple-A East, which also includes the Charlotte Knights, Durham Bulls, Gwinnett Stripers, Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, Nashville Sounds and Norfolk Tides. The seven-team Midwest Division and sixteam Northeast Division make up the 20-team Triple-A East. The new Triple-A West league features ten franchises.

2021 Schedule: The 2021 schedule will look a little bit different than that of years past. The Redbirds will be playing 120 games with 60 at AutoZone Park and 60 on the road. As part of MLB's new model for the minor leagues, every series will be six games with each of them being against a Triple-A East opponent. Additionally, each series will run from Tuesday-Sunday with every Monday being an off day. Ten More Years: On December 9, 2020, the St. Louis Cardinals announced an invitation to the Memphis Redbirds to continue their affiliation through the 2030 season. The Redbirds have been St. Louis' top affiliate since 1998. "We are proud to call Memphis our home and look forward to another ten years," said Cardinals President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak. "We are thrilled to extend our partnership with the St. Louis Cardinals," said Peter B. Friend, Principal Owner of the Memphis Redbirds. "We have the greatest fans and best ball park in Triple-A and look forward to celebrating even more championships over the next decade.

Coaching Staff: Ben Johnson returns for his second season as the Manager of the Memphis Redbirds. The former major leaguer and Memphis native led the Redbirds to a 69-71 record in 2019. Dernier Orozco is the Pitching Coach for Memphis, serving his third season in that role. Orozco was the Pitching Coach for the Redbirds during their 2017 and 2018 PCL Championship runs. This will be Orozco's 15th season in the Cardinals' organization. Brandon Allen was set to join the Redbirds as Hitting Coach in 2020 before the season was canceled. The four-year major leaguer will now serve his first season in Memphis in 2021. This is Allen's fourth season in the St. Louis system. Dan Martin and Frank Witkowski each return for their second season as Trainer and Strength and Conditioning Coach for Memphis.

Opening Day: The Redbirds are looking for a fourth consecutive win on Opening Day and in the home opener. Overall Memphis has won 7 of 8 on Opening Day and is also 7-1 in the season's first game at AutoZone Park since 2012. Redbirds and Bulls: This will be the first meeting all-time between Memphis and Durham as division opponents. Memphis was a member of the PCL from 1998-2020 while Durham played in the International League from 1998-2020. The Redbirds and Bulls did meet in the Triple-A National Championship in 2009, 2017 and 2018. The Bulls took home the title in 2009 and 2017 while Memphis won the Triple-A crown in 2018.

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