Tyler Johnson falters in return to Memphis

Johnson was a Rule 5 pick last December, but he struggled with the Athletics on their big-league roster in camp. The left handed pitcher appeared in four games this spring for Oakland, posting a 10.80 ERA in 3 1/3 innings.

JUPITER FLORIDA: RHP Nerio Rodriguez, RHP Evan Rust and LHP Hector Mercado combined to throw eight shutout innings for Memphis, but the Albuquerque Isotopes scored a run in the ninth and the game ended in a tie Sunday afternoon at the Marlins Complex.

Memphis scored its only run with four consecutive hits in the third inning. Gabe Johnson led off with a double, Wilton Guerrero followed with a single, and Skip Schumaker drove Johnson home with an RBI single. John Nelson had two of the Redbirds seven hits in the game, and was the only player on either team to record multiple hits.

The first three Memphis pitchers limited Albuquerque to just four hits, walking four and striking out nine, but the Isotopes scratched out a run against LHP Tyler Johnson in the ninth, thanks to two free passes.

Johnson, the left-hander, highly touted prospect recently returned to Triple-A Memphis after the Oakland Athletics returned him to the Cardinals.

Johnson was a Rule 5 pick last December, but he struggled with the Athletics on their big-league roster in camp. The LHP appeared in four games this spring, posting a 10.80 ERA in 3 1/3 innings for Oakland.

Johnson's stock has dropped significantly in the last 12 months, within the Cardinals organization.

Tyler was 2-2 with a 4.79 ERA in 53 games (all in relief) for Tennessee (AA) last season. He was the Cardinals 34th round selection in the June, 2000 draft. He won a career-high 15 games in 2002 for Peoria of the Midwest League (A).

Recently Tyler Johnson was ranked as one of baseball's Top 100 Prospects by Fox Sports, the left-hander is currently slated to start the season with the Memphis Redbirds and will be pitching out of the bullpen.

The Redbirds will play Albuquerque again Monday. Baseball action at AutoZone Park begins on Friday, April 1, as the Cincinnati Reds face the Toronto Blue Jays in a Major League exhibition game. Memphis' regular season and home opener is April 7 against Oklahoma. Tickets may be purchased at the box office at the corner of Third and Union, by phone at 901.721.6000, or on the team's website, memphisredbirds.com.

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