Memphis Redbirds Notebook: 2014 Week 10

Like their St. Louis parent recently, the Triple-A Redbirds have been unable to take advantage of a long homestand. Tommy Pham continues his hot hitting.

The Memphis Redbirds are in the midst of a 12-game homestand, but have failed to capitalize on the home-field advantage, going 3-4 this week. The Redbirds dropped two of their final three games to Nashville (MIL) to start the week, then split a four-game series with the Tacoma Rainiers (SEA).

The losing week drops Memphis' record below .500 at 33-34, while the team retains its third place spot in the American Southern Division of the Pacific Coast League.

June 6: Nashville at Memphis, Nashville wins 1-0

A Hector Gomez solo shot to left field off Scott McGregor in the fifth inning provided the only scoring of the evening and led Nashville to a 1-0 victory over the Redbirds.

Both teams struggled offensively, with the Redbirds and Sounds combining to hit 1-for-16 with runners in scoring position and total only 11 hits for the game. Infielder Scott Moore provided two of Memphis' four hits.

McGregor's record on the season dropped to 1-6 after walking three, allowing six hits, and the one run. Dean Kiekhefer had a solid outing in relief striking out four and remaining perfect through two full innings. For Nashville, Jimmy Nelson improved his record to an impressive 7-1 after striking out seven and giving up just two hits in six innings pitched.

June 7: Nashville at Memphis, Nashville wins 4-3

The Redbirds got multi-hit performances from four batters, but could not finish a ninth inning comeback and dropped their second consecutive contest to Nashville, 4-3.

Nashville took the early advantage in the second inning with a solo homer from former Redbirds catcher Matt Pagnozzi. The 1-0 score remained until the sixth when Memphis tied things up with a Greg Garcia RBI single. But the Sounds homered again in the seventh to retake the lead, this time a two-run dinger off the bat of Jeremy Hermida against reliever Nick Greenwood.

Hermida batted in another run in the ninth to give Nashville a 4-1 lead. The Redbirds attempted a rally in the ninth with RBI singles from Mike O'Neill and Audry Perez, but ultimately Memphis fell short with a Greg Garcia strikeout ending the game.

Stephen Piscotty led the Redbirds at the plate, going 3-for-4. O'Neill, Perez and Garcia each hit safely twice for Memphis. On the mound, John Gast received a no-decision after striking out four and giving up one earned run and four hits in five innings pitched. Greenwood took the loss after allowing two earned runs in his two frames.

June 8: Nashville at Memphis, Memphis wins 9-4

Memphis was in control for most of the game and came away with a 9-4 victory to close the Nashville series.

Pete Kozma kicked off the scoring with an RBI double that scored Greg Garcia in the third inning, and it was all Memphis from there with the Redbirds surging to a 9-0 lead by the sixth. Nashville finally got on the board in the eighth when Kevin Mattison came home on a bases loaded walk, but it was too little too late for the Sounds as Memphis cruised to the easy win.

The Memphis offense torched Nashville to the tune of 15 hits, with Tommy Pham leading the way with a three-hit, one RBI performance. The offense put runs on the board but Angel Castro delivered a gem on the mound as well. In seven innings, Castro struck out three batters, walked none and gave up only three hits and no runs.

It was a less than ideal relief effort from Redbird lefty Pedro Feliciano, who allowed two hits, four runs and two earned in 1/3 of an inning.

June 9: Tacoma at Memphis, Tacoma wins 3-2 (12 innings)

Tacoma and Memphis went extra innings in the two teams' series opener at AutoZone Park, and it was the visiting Rainiers who came away with the win in the 12th inning.

The Redbirds held an early 2-0 lead due to Greg Garcia and Tommy Pham homers, but surrendered that advantage with Tacoma RBIs from Logan Morrison and Jabari Blash in the seventh and eighth innings against Eric Fornataro and Jorge Rondon.

After the game went to extras, and a Ty Kelly homer to right field off Heath Wyatt sealed the deal for the Rainiers in the top of the 12th.

Both teams racked up 10 hits in the ballgame, with Redbirds outfielder Shane Robinson leading all batters with three hits. Tim Cooney was solid for six innings to start the game for Memphis, giving up five hits and no runs.

June 10: Tacoma at Memphis, Memphis wins 7-4

The Redbirds squandered an early 3-0 lead, then recovered to take the second game of the series 7-4.

Memphis was first on the board with a Scott Moore double scoring two in the first inning. The Redbirds added another in the second when Luis Mateo scored on a Tacoma error, but the Rainiers came storming back with four consecutive runs to take a 4-3 edge in the top of the fifth. It did not last for long however, as the Redbirds piled on three runs of their own in the bottom of the inning with RBI singles from Jermaine Curtis and Shane Robinson, as well as a sac-fly from Audry Perez.

Perez carried the torch for Memphis with one single and two RBI from sacrifice flies. Zach Petrick had a rough outing with four earned runs and seven hits in 4 1/3 innings, but Heath Wyatt came through with the win after 1 2/3 innings of relief.

June 11: Tacoma at Memphis, Memphis wins 6-5

Memphis fell in a 5-0 hole to start the game, but rallied for five runs in the fifth inning and walked off with the victory in the ninth.

Tacoma scored the first three runs of the contest in the second inning, then Ty Kelly's ninth home run of the season put two more runs on the scoreboard for the Rainiers against starter Scott McGregor. Memphis fought back in the bottom of the fifth, with Xavier Scruggs, Shane Robinson and Matt Adams all bringing home runs to tie the game at five.

That score remained until the bottom of the ninth inning when Greg Garcia popped a sac-fly to left field to plate Tommy Pham and give the Redbirds the victory.

The game-winning run capped off what was an outstanding game from Pham, who scored twice and hit 3-for-4 with a double. Scruggs and Audry Perez added two hits apiece. McGregor received a no-decision after walking four and allowing five earned runs in six innings.

June 12: Tacoma at Memphis, Tacoma wins 6-3

Yet again Memphis allowed Tacoma to jump out to a large lead, but this time the Redbirds were unable to recover.

An Abraham Almonte left field homer extended the Rainiers lead to 5-0 in the fourth inning against John Gast, then Tacoma added an RBI single from Jabari Blash in the fifth to take a commanding 6-0 edge.

The Redbirds finally broke through in the eighth inning when Tommy Pham crushed a three-run homer to center. Memphis was unable to put anything together in the ninth inning and was defeated in the series finale.

Gast took the loss in his first decision for Memphis. The lefty was pulled after giving up five earned runs and six hits in four innings.

Who's Hot

Tommy Pham: Pham's outstanding play of late continued this week, with the outfielder boosting his last 10 games batting average to .400. In his last 18 plate appearances, Pham has nine hits and two homers.

Stephen Piscotty: Piscotty had a bounce-back week after appearing on the "Who's Not" list a week ago. In the two series against Nashville and Tacoma, the outfielder hit .414 with three RBI.

Tim Cooney: Cooney pitched another solid game this week, earning a no-decision after giving up five hits and no runs to Tacoma June 9. It was the latest in an excellent string of games for the left-hander. In his last three contests, the left-hander has allowed 12 hits and only one earned run in 21 2/3 innings.

Dean Kiekhefer: The left-handed reliever has been lights-out across his last 10 games. In that time, Kiekhefer has pitched 15 innings and not given up a single run.

Who's Not

Xavier Scruggs: Scruggs played in all seven games this week but the first baseman totaled only four hits in 19 attempts.

Matt Adams: It has been a sluggish start for Adams in his rehab assignment. The first baseman is 3-for-15 in his first four games with the Redbirds.

Nick Greenwood: The usually reliable swingman took a step backward this week with two rocky appearances. Greenwood pitched 5 1/3 innings and gave up eight hits and three earned runs.

Holding Steady

The Redbirds have been unable to get on a win streak lately, but are also making sure not to let the losses pile up. The squad has been playing .500 ball for a couple of weeks now and has tied their last three series. The last series to be decided was the May 27-30 series with Iowa, when Memphis took three games from the Chicago Cubs affiliate.

Falling Behind

While the Redbirds have been hanging at .500, their division rivals have been increasing their advantage over Memphis. Nashville leads the division at 38-30, and New Orleans sits a game and a half behind at 36-31. The Redbirds' 33-34 record puts them third, two games ahead of last place Round Rock.

Transactions

June 6 — Memphis Redbirds activated Dante Rosenberg from the 7-day disabled list
June 6 — Kurt Heyer assigned to Springfield Cardinals from Memphis Redbirds
June 9 — St. Louis Cardinals sent Matt Adams on a rehab assignment to Memphis Redbirds

Up Next

The Redbirds close out their monster 12-game homestand this weekend with a four-game series against Reno at AutoZone Park beginning Friday. Memphis then heads out on the road for the first time in two weeks for four games at Salt Lake.



Follow Austin Reynolds on Twitter @ReynoldsRant.

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