Memphis Redbirds (3-1 this week, 48-50 overall)
Heading into the Pacific Coast League All-Star Break, Memphis won three of four in Nashville to tie with Iowa for the division lead. In each game this week, Nashville scored the first run, but Memphis rallied back for the win three times.
For the year, the Redbirds have only won 14 out of 34 games when the opponent scored first. Memphis has turned it around of late, winning seven of the last ten after a six-game losing streak, their longest of the season.
With three wins in Nashville, Memphis now has more road wins than losses - 24 out of 47 -and clinched the Tennessee I-40 Lottery Series. Brock Peterson and Michael Wacha were named to the PCL All-Star Team and Peterson placed second in the 2013 IGT Triple-A All-Star Home Run Derby.
July 11 at Nashville, Loss 7-6
The Nashville Sounds scored five runs early, then added two more in the eighth to break their own six-game losing streak. Nick Additon took the mound for the Redbirds and allowed the five earned runs in the first two frames. In the first inning, Nashville tallied two runs, one on a RBI-triple, and another on the sacrifice fly that followed. After those two, Additon yielded three more runs in the second. With two outs and runners on first and second, Scooter Gennett hit the Sounds' second triple of the day to score two runners. A single brought home Gennett, and the Redbirds faced a four-run deficit early in the game.
Adron Chambers was a big part of the Redbirds' run production. He started out with a lead-off double in the second frame and scored on Tommy Pham's RBI single. A throwing error allowed Brock Peterson to come home with two outs in the third. Memphis tallied two runs in the fifth before Sounds' starter R.J. Seidel was pulled. First baseman Peterson launched a monster solo blast to left field on the 2-1 delivery for his 22nd of the year. Seidel yielded another run when Chambers scored from second on Greg Garcia's double.
Additon turned the game over to Marc Rzepczynski after 5 1/3 frames with the Redbirds behind by a run. Scrabble finished out the sixth and pitched thru the seventh to hold the gap. Victor Marte relieved him and allowed a single and a pair of doubles to tally two more runs for the Sounds. The two runs on Thursday marked the eighth time in Marte's last ten appearances in which he has allowed a run. In the ninth, the visitors made it interesting on Chambers' fourth hit of the game, a two-run home run, to pull within one, but it was not enough.
July 12 at Nashville, Win 6-3 (11 innings)
Greg Garcia's two-out single plated three runs in the top of the 11th, and it was enough for the club's fourth extra-innings victory in ten tries. Nashville scored first in the second inning on Hunter Morris' 19th home run of the year. Tyler Lyons served up the second pitch of the at-bat for his fifth home run allowed in Triple-A this season. The left-hander yielded one more run in the sixth on Gennett's second triple in as many days. Lyons was pulled for Michael Blazek, who hade been optioned to Memphis the day before, on July 11.
Pham's RBI single in the fourth got the Redbirds scoring underway. In the sixth frame, Chad Huffman's single scored Jermaine Curtis from third. A solo shot by Pham in the eighth broke the tie, but Sam Freeman allowed a run with a two-out single that re-tied the game. That run marked the first Freeman had allowed in his previous 16 appearances (25 2/3 scoreless innings). He made it out of the frame, but Nick Greenwood replaced him in the ninth.
The 25-year-old reliever retired the side in order and brought the Redbirds into extra-innings. Two outs after a scoreless tenth frame, Chambers stepped up to the plate with no runners on. He singled, then the next batter singled and a walk loaded the bases. Garcia swung at the second pitch he saw and hit it hard enough into center to score all three runners. Fernando Salas earned the save, and Greenwood was credited with the win.
July 13 at Nashville, Win 5-4
Chris Swauger was the hero on Saturday night, scoring three runs on his double in the ninth with two outs.
Boone Whiting got the starting nod and allowed two earned runs in his 5 2/3 frames of service. Whiting yielded the two on a pair of two-out RBI singles, one in the first inning and the other after he left the game with two runners on in the sixth. Rzepczynski took over for the last out of the sixth frame, but walked the first batter and allowed the RBI single.
In the sixth frame, Scrabble allowed two more runs with a RBI triple and a sacrifice fly. The next two pitchers, Jorge Rondon and Fernando Salas, each pitched a scoreless inning and had a strikeout apiece to hold the Sounds to four runs.
Memphis scored one in both the second and third innings before Swauger's game-winning double. In the second, Whiting helped himself with an RBI single, and Garcia's first home run of the year tallied one in the third. Rondon was credited with the win, and Salas got his fourth save this season.
July 14 at Nashville, Win 3-2
Scott McGregor had a solid seven-frame start, and earned the win in his quality outing. The right-hander allowed two runs, struck out six and threw 64 strikes throughout his 86 pitches. Freeman relieved McGregor with one scoreless inning and Blazek got the save after his scoreless ninth.
The Sounds' first run came on a RBI single in the second and a fielder's choice in the fifth. Pop Warner argued the call in the fifth that the runner at home was safe and was ejected.
After losing their skipper, the Redbirds put two more runs on the board in the sixth, enough to win the game. Memphis' first run was tallied on Chambers' solo shot over the right field wall. The two in the sixth were a result of the back-to-back singles by Huffman and Audry Perez' first Triple-A hit.
Adron Chambers – The outfielder is currently riding a ten-game hitting streak, and his July batting average is .475, with 19 hits in 40 tries and 13 runs scored. He had a .207 batting average at the end of May, with 35 hits in 169 at-bats. Over June and July, the Florida native has had two more hits with 54 less plate appearances to raise his batting average up to .254 on the year.
Greg Garcia – The infielder rode a four-game hitting streak throughout the Nashville series, with four hits, including a pinch-hit three-RBI single in extra innings as well as his first home run. This season, he has been significantly better against left-handed pitching, with 22 hits in 76 plate appearances. With runners in scoring position, Garcia has 13 hits in 50 tries with 14 RBI.
Tommy Pham – The outfielder snapped his career-high ten-game hitting streak by going hitless on Sunday, after 16 hits in 45 at-bats (.356) during the streak. Pham had multiple hits in five of last seven games, hit his first Triple-A home run and added six RBI over those seven games.
Victor Marte – The reliever has allowed at least one run in eight of last ten appearances on the mound and has given up 16 runs (all earned) over the last 10 innings pitched. In June alone, Marte yielded 12 runs in eight innings pitched. Aside from June, Marte has pitched 27 2/3 frames with 11 earned runs and 28 strikeouts.
Kolten Wong – Over his last ten games, Wong has seven hits in 40 tries (.175). Since his Minor League Player of the Month award for in May, he has 31 hits in 127 attempts (.244). In May alone, the top five Cardinals prospect had 39 hits in 104 at-bats.
Brock Peterson – The first baseman earned runner-up honors in the Triple-A Home Run Derby. Seven home runs in the first round were enough to get him into the final, but Reno's third baseman Matt Davidson hit four in the final round to win it.
In the All-Star Game, Peterson batted cleanup, grounded out for an RBI and singled in two plate appearances, and was pinch-hit for in the bottom of the fifth.
Michael Wacha – The tall right-hander entered the game in the seventh for the PCL All-Stars and retired the side with three groundouts. He stayed on into the eighth and secured the first two outs. Chris Rusin was called upon to get the last out in the inning.
Wacha's first all-star appearance was brief, 22 pitches among five hitters faced, all retired. Yet it was impressive enough for him to be named the "Top Star" for the PCL.
Kolten Wong – It is rare to find a cold player under the All-Star Updates header. It speaks volumes to Wong's entire season that cold spells come few and far between. He played in the All-Star Futures Game for the U.S. against the International team on Sunday. He singled and stole a base in two plate appearances, and converted two double plays.
Outfielder Oscar Taveras and pitcher Eric Fornataro have started their rehab assignments, both playing for the first time with the Gulf Coast League Cardinals on Monday, July 15. Outfielder Justin Christian, catcher Geoff Klein, and pitchers Ramon Delgado and Eric Fornataro are all still on the disabled list.
After a few days off with the break, Memphis returns to AutoZone Park to face Oklahoma City for four games starting Thursday followed by Round Rock for four more. Oklahoma City is 3 1/2 games behind Memphis and Iowa in the divisional race, and Round Rock has 54 wins in 99 tries.
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