Balanced attack powers Trash Pandas to 7-1 win
Rocket City improves league-best home record to 20-10
MADISON – All nine Rocket City Trash Pandas reached base at least once and six pitchers combined to shut down the Mississippi Braves for a 7-1 win on Sunday afternoon, clinching a series victory at Toyota Field.
The victory improves the Trash Pandas’ record to a franchise-best 11 games over .500 at 34-23 and their Southern League-leading home record to 20-10. The win also ensures that the Trash Pandas will be alone in first place in the North Division heading into the final 12 games of the first half.
Making his first start back with the Trash Pandas after a Major League stint with the Los Angeles Angels, Chase Silseth struggled out of the gate, allowing a run in the first inning on an RBI single from Jalen Miller.
Rocket City responded in the bottom of the frame when Livan Soto and Zach Humphreys started with walks before Preston Palmeiro laced a double into the right field corner, plating Soto with the tying run.
Silseth regrouped in the second, fielding a comebacker to start an inning-ending double play following a one-out single by Trey Harris. Rocket City got him the lead soon after, as Bryce Teodosio hit a double to left and came home on Humphreys’ single to right for a 2-1 Trash Pandas lead.
Pitching with the lead, Silseth retired the Braves in order in the third and worked around a pair of two out walks in the fourth to end his start. In his sixth Double-A start of the season, Silseth allowed one run on three hits over four innings while walking three and striking out three in a no-decision.
The Trash Pandas added to the advantage in the fourth when Teodosio reached on a one-out walk, stole second, and scored on Soto’s double to left-center to double the Trash Pandas lead to 3-1. An inning later, the Trash Pandas got another run in similar fashion as Ryan Aguilar reached with a two-out walk and swiped second base before Jose Gomez lined an RBI single to left, allowing Aguilar to come home for a 4-1 lead.
In relief of Silseth, Zach Linginfelter worked into a jam in the fifth as a walk and a single put two on with one out. The Rocket City righty got through the trouble by getting a ground out from C.J. Alexander and a strikeout of Hendrik Clementina to maintain the lead.
Sean McLaughlin was next out of the Trash Pandas bullpen and needed only 10 pitches to retire his former team one, two, three in the sixth. Luke Murphy was equally sharp in the seventh, needing just nine pitches to set the Braves down in order.
Rocket City broke the game open for good in the bottom of the seventh with a two-run double from Jeremiah Jackson and a two-out RBI single from Kevin Maitan, increasing the lead to 7-1.
Eric Torres was dominant in the eighth and Jack Dashwood finished the game on the mound with a clean ninth.
The five Trash Pandas relievers combined to hold the Braves to one hit and one walk over the final five innings, striking out five. Linginfelter (W, 2-1) earned the win with the scoreless fifth. At the plate, Soto, Palmeiro, and Teodosio each recorded two hits while Aguilar drew three walks and scored twice in Rocket City’s third straight win.
The Trash Pandas (34-23) continue their homestand with a six-game series against the Montgomery Biscuits beginning on Tuesday night. First pitch at Toyota Field is scheduled 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.
Tuesday’s game is Faith and Family Night, with a special live performance on the Inline Electric Rock Porch before the game and a Trash Pandas players will give a pregame testimonial. Tuesday is also Ladies Night at Toyota Field, with ladies having the opportunity to win great prizes and all fans can enjoy $1 off canned wine, presented by Reeds Jewelers.