Memphis season mirrors big club with 8-8 start; Garcia shines in -

Memphis season mirrors big club with 8-8 start; Garcia shines in return; Hefner progressing

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( -- Some familiar names and a few new acquisitions have powered the Memphis Redbirds to an 8-8 start in the Pacific Coast League American Southern Division.

Memphis has seven of the Cards top 30 prospects on the club and so far, they and free agent signings have combined to carry the load for the Class AAA affiliate.

Sunday, the Redbirds completed a series with first place Round Rock (Texas Rangers) with a come from behind 6-4 win, moving them to within a game of first.

Greg Garcia, sent down on April 19 with the return of Ruben Tejada, has been smoking hot for the Class AAA Cardinal squad, hitting .375 since his recent return, going 2-4 with a pair of runs Sunday.

Also playing well are two Redbirds who were among the final spring cuts by the big club. Anthony Garcia jacked a solo home run in the sixth Sunday and Carlos Peguero belted a three-run bomb in the eighth to power the Redbirds to the win. Peguero has reached base in 10 of 12 games in which he started.

Sam Tuivailala relieved in the ninth and struck out the two batters he faced for his second save of the season. Tuivailala has fanned 13 in just 6.2 innings but has surrendered 10 hits and is currently working down his 6.75 ERA.

Charlie Tilson continues to improve his on base and batting averages, now .352 and .286 respectively. Going into Sunday’s game, five of Tilson’s six runs scored have come after he moved into the leadoff spot nine games ago. He is hitting .375 (12-32) during the span.

Jeremy Hefner continues to progress as he makes what may be his last comeback after undergoing two Tommy John surgeries. In his first appearance since August 6, 2014, Hefner allowed just one hit in five innings. It was his first outing of at least five innings surrendering only one hit in his last 88 starts. Hefner, 30, is 2-0 with an ERA of 2.30 and a WHIP under 1.


Nick Martini has reached base in 10 of his last 12 games played.

Jonathan Rodriguez is hitting .389 (7-18) with runners in scoring position, and Peguero and Martini are hitting .385 (5-13) and .364 (4-11), respectively

Matt Williams and Jacob Wilson have each made starts at four different positions in the season’s first 15 games

*Anthony Garcia, Alex Mejia, Mike Ohlman and Jonathan Rodriguez all had five-game hitting streaks at some point during the season’s first nine games


•Memphis ranks third in the Pacific Coast League in ERA (3.47) and 12th in batting average (.247). The Redbirds have committed an error in eight of the last 10 games and ranks 15th in the league in fielding (.970)

•Through one turn in the rotation, Deck McGuire, J.C. Sulbaran, Jeremy Hefner, Thomas Lee and Arturo Reyes combined for a 2.51 ERA with 22 strikeouts and 11 walks in 25.1 innings of work.

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