Tyler twirls gem in 1-0 Trash Pandas win
MADISON – A dominant start from Kyle Tyler and strong relief work from Connor Higgins and Oliver Ortega led the Rocket City Trash Pandas to a 1-0 win over the Birmingham Barons on Wednesday night at Toyota Field.
Rocket City wasted no time in striking first off Birmingham starter Kade McClure. Leading off the bottom of the opening frame, Orlando Martinez teed off for a solo blast into the Birmingham bullpen in left field, his fifth home run of the season to tie for the team lead.
Making his fourth start of the year, Tyler was able to make the one run stand up.
Pitching with a lead in the second, he worked around a hit-by-pitch to hold the lead. In the third, he retired the side in order. An inning later, he struck out the first two Barons he faced in a scoreless inning. The fifth was also a fast inning for Tyler as the Barons couldn’t put a runner on base.
In the sixth, JJ Muno led off with a walk for Birmingham and was thrown out trying to steal second on a strong throw from Trash Pandas catcher Matt Jones. Two hitters later, Ti’Quan Forbes doubled to right to put the tying run in scoring position. Tyler rebounded to strike out Romy Gonzalez swinging to end his night.
Over 6.0 terrific innings, Tyler held the Barons scoreless while giving up just two hits and one walk with nine strikeouts in his second straight scoreless start. In his last two starts, Tyler has thrown 13.0 scoreless innings with five hits, four walks, and 14 strikeouts to earn a pair of wins.
Higgins entered and pitched a clean seventh before working around a base runner in the eighth to hold the lead. In the ninth, Oliver Ortega struck out the first two hitters he faced before inducing a pop-up from Micker Adolfo to finish the win for Rocket City.
Offensively, Martinez and Ray-Patrick Didder each recorded a pair of hits in the victory, the second shutout for Rocket City through the first 20 games in franchise history.
The Trash Pandas (9-11) continue their series with the Barons (13-7) on Thursday night. First pitch from Toyota Field is set for 6:35 p.m. Josh Caray will be on the call for 103.9 FM THE UMP and 730 AM SportsRadio. The game will also be televised locally on WAAY-31.6, This TV.