Memphis Redbirds Notebook: 2014 Week 5

The Pacific Coast League Redbirds had uneven week on the road, losing four of seven.

The Memphis Redbirds had an erratic week featuring two scoreless games and a 21-hit, 15-run barrage en route to a 3-4 week, all on the road. The Redbirds began the week at Colorado Springs (COL), where the two teams split the series. Memphis then moved on to Oklahoma City where the RedHawks (HOU) jumped out to a 2-1 advantage in the four-game set.

It was the third consecutive week the Redbirds logged a losing record, and as a result their overall mark has fallen to 16-18, good for third in the American Southern division of the Pacific Coast League. Round Rock (TEX) leads the division at 18-15, with the 18-16 Nashville Sounds (MIL) a half-game behind.

May 2: Memphis at Colorado Springs, Memphis wins 9-3

Memphis picked up its third straight victory over the Sky Sox this season to kick off the four-game series at Colorado Springs.

The contest was tied up at two runs apiece entering the sixth inning, but then the Redbirds offense exploded for five runs to bury the Sky Sox. Pete Kozma kicked off the scoring burst with a double to score Shane Robinson and Stephen Piscotty. That was followed by another two-bagger by first baseman Xavier Scruggs to plate Audry Perez and Kozma. Jermaine Curtis capped off the five-run inning with an RBI single scoring Scruggs.

Robinson led Memphis in hits with three and had one of the Redbirds' five doubles. Zach Petrick was awarded his first win at the Triple-A level. The right-hander allowed three runs and six hits in six innings at the rubber. Nick Greenwood pitched two perfect innings in relief.

May 3: Memphis at Colorado Springs, Colorado Springs wins 1-0

Both teams struggled in the batters box, and Colorado Springs walked off with a 1-0 win.

The Redbirds almost pushed the game to extra innings, but with two outs and one runner on third in the bottom of the ninth, Jason Pridie singled a fly ball to left field that brought home Paul Janish for the game's winning run.

Memphis was unable to capitalize on a gem pitched by Scott McGregor. McGregor, who has struggled most of the season, struck out five, walked none and allowed two hits in seven innings pitched. In relief, Jorge Rondon allowed one hit and struck out two in one inning pitched, then Sam Freeman took the loss after giving up two hits and the game-winning run in the ninth.

May 4: Memphis at Colorado Springs, Colorado Springs wins 8-3

For the second consecutive game, the Redbirds struggled to generate much offense, and as a result dropped their second game of the series to Colorado Springs, 8-3.

A Joey Butler double in the first inning plated Kolten Wong and gave Memphis an early lead, but it was short lived. The Sky Sox scored once in the second and third innings, then put three runs on the board in the fifth inning by way of a Ben Paulsen three-run shot to center field.

Butler came through once again for Memphis with a solo homer in the sixth, but the Redbirds weren't able to get out of the early hole they put themselves in.

Butler led Memphis with two hits and two RBI, while Wong added two hits. Boone Whiting lasted just 4 1/3 innings for the Redbirds, allowing four earned runs and eight hits in his stint on the mound. The loss drops Whiting to 0-4 on the season.

May 5: Memphis at Colorado Springs, Memphis wins 15-2

The Redbirds exploded for 21 hits and 15 runs in a 15-2 series-closing win over Colorado Springs.

The Sky Sox never had an opportunity to lead, with Memphis holding an 11-0 advantage before Colorado Springs was finally able to get on the board via a Kyle Parker solo homer in the bottom of the sixth.

Five Redbirds recorded three hits in the blowout victory, with Kolten Wong and Oscar Taveras logging three RBI each. Angel Castro saw his record improve to 3-2 after allowing one earned run and four hits in 5 2/3 innings pitched.

May 6: Memphis at Oklahoma City, Oklahoma City wins 2-0

Unfortunately for the Memphis, the Redbirds' hot bats did not carry over into their series opener at Oklahoma City, as the RedHawks snagged a 2-0 win.

Oklahoma City scored both of its runs in the fourth inning off a pair of RBI singles from Max Stassi and Carlos Perez. Each squad finished with six hits, but Memphis was unable to bring home its runners in scoring position.

Stephen Piscotty was a bright spot in a dull offensive day for the Redbirds, as he finished with three hits and a double. Kolten Wong, Shane Robinson and Jermaine Curtis each hit once.

Tim Cooney took the loss for the Redbirds despite a solid 7 2/3 inning outing. Cooney struck out four, walked three while allowing two earned runs and six hits.

May 7: Memphis at Oklahoma City, Memphis wins 8-1

The Redbirds made the most of their 10 hits, scoring eight runs and six in the final two innings to take down Oklahoma City for the second time in the last three games.

Tommy Pham kicked things off with a home-run to center field that scored Xavier Scruggs and propelled Memphis to a 2-0 lead in the top of the second, but Oklahoma City got one back in the bottom of the inning with a Carlos Perez RBI single.

Things were quiet for both sides until the eighth inning when Oscar Taveras broke the silence with a double to plate both Luis Mateo and Pete Kozma. Stephen Piscotty followed up with a double of his own to score Shane Robinson and Taveras and extend the Memphis lead to five runs. Luis Mateo capped things off in the top of the ninth with his first homer of the season, a two-run shot that brought home Ed Easley.

Mateo was the star of the show with two doubles in addition to the home run. Zach Petrick got the win in 6 2/3 innings, allowing one earned run and three hits while striking out four.

May 8: Memphis at Oklahoma City, Oklahoma City wins 8-3

Memphis was unable to recover from its early pitching struggles, as a four-run second inning by Oklahoma City ultimately doomed the Redbirds to an 8-3 defeat.

Memphis starter Scott McGregor lasted only 1 2/3 innings, allowing four earned runs, four hits and walking three in his abbreviated outing. McGregor was credited with the loss, moving him to 0-5 for the season.

Stephen Piscotty and Ed Easley each hit twice for the Redbirds, and Oscar Taveras made the most of his lone hit, an RBI triple that scored Shane Robinson in the first inning.

Who's Hot

Audry Perez: Perez continued his recent hitting surge with a three-hit game against Colorado Springs on May 5. Over his last 10 games the Memphis catcher is batting .350 with a home run, four RBI and three doubles.

Kolten Wong: Wong is currently in the midst of a five-game hitting streak, and has hit multiple times in two of those five games. In Wong's 10 games at Memphis since being sent down from St. Louis he's batting .326 with five RBI, eight runs scored and three steals in three attempts.

Stephen Piscotty: Piscotty's pieced together a hit streak of his own, with the outfielder hitting in each of his last seven games. Piscotty has doubled in five of the seven.

Zach Petrick: Petrick was a perfect 2-0 in his starts this week. The right-hander pitched at least six innings in both contests, and gave up just one earned run and three hits in his most recent effort.

Who's Not

Ed Easley: Easley has split time at the catcher position with Audry Perez, but his counterpart is significantly out-hitting him at the plate. Easley's batting average has dipped to .215 for the season. The right-handed batter has shown progress with three hits over his most recent two games, but is still batting .171 over his last 10.

Lee Stoppelman: Stoppelman pitched a disastrous inning in relief during the Redbirds' May 4 loss to Colorado Springs. In that game Stoppelman walked two batters and allowed three earned and two hits in only one inning pitched. For the season the left-hander has the highest ERA of all Memphis pitchers at 6.75. Stoppelman was sent down to Double-A Springfield following the Colorado Springs loss.

Butler Shines

Outfielder Joey Butler has cooled off since his blazing start to the season, batting .219 over his last 10 games, but still ranks among the Pacific Coast League's elite hitters. Butler is fifth in the PCL with a batting average of .360 and his OPS of 1.028 is tied for sixth.

Star Watch

Oscar Taveras has cooled off since snapping his 16-game hitting streak May 3 against Colorado Springs. In his last five games, Taveras has five hits in his 22 plate appearances, but still holds a batting average of .298 for the season.


May 5 — LHR Lee Stoppelman assigned to Springfield Cardinals from Memphis Redbirds
May 5 — IF Luis Mateo assigned to Memphis Redbirds from Springfield Cardinals

Up Next

The Redbirds close out their eight-game road trip at Oklahoma City Friday night before returning home for a four-game series against the Round Rock Express (TEX). Memphis has an off day on Wednesday, then it's back to work with four games against the Omaha Storm Chasers (KC) at AutoZone Park.

Follow Austin Reynolds on Twitter @ReynoldsRant.

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