The Rocket City Trash Pandas broke a close game open with an offensive outburst in the late innings, then held on at the very end to defeat the Montgomery Biscuits 8-6 on Friday night at Riverwalk Stadium, evening the six-game series between the Southern League’s top two second half teams
The Rocket City Trash Pandas broke a close game open with an offensive outburst in the late innings, then held on at the very end to defeat the Montgomery Biscuits 8-6 on Friday night at Riverwalk Stadium, evening the six-game series between the Southern League’s top two second half teams at two games apiece.
After starting the first no-hitter in Trash Pandas history in his last outing, righty Chase Silseth allowed a hit in the bottom of the first, but extended his scoreless streak to eight innings with a clean bottom of the first.
The Trash Pandas opened the scoring in the top of the third as Bryce Teodosio and Zach Neto singled while an error moved the runners to second and third. Logan O’Hoppe followed by lacing a single up the middle, plating Teodosio and Neto for a 2-0 Trash Pandas lead.
Silseth extended his scoreless streak to 10 innings with a clean bottom of the third. But it ended in the fourth. Kyle Manzardo led off with a walk. Two hitters later, Evan Edwards cracked a two-run homer just over the wall in left, his 12th of the season to tie the score 2-2.
The Trash Pandas immediately responded in the fifth. Aaron Whitefield got it started with a single. Zach Neto then lined a double into the left field corner, scoring Whitefield to restore the Rocket City lead at 3-2. A ground out advanced Neto to third and a wild pitch allowed him to come home, making it a 4-2 game. Silseth got through the bottom of the inning with a strikeout and a pair of fly outs to end his outing.
Over five innings, Silseth (W, 6-0) allowed two runs on three hits with one walk and six strikeouts to earn the win, his third in a row and sixth of the season.
In the sixth, Jeremiah Jackson doubled off reliever Josh Roberson and later came home to score on Jordyn Adams’ sacrifice fly for a 5-2 Rocket City lead. Ben Joyce was first out of the bullpen in the bottom of the frame and struck out a pair to work around a double and a walk in a scoreless inning.
The Trash Pandas looked to put the game out of reach in the seventh. O’Hoppe reached with a one-out walk and Preston Palmeiro hit his team-leading 31st double of the season to put two in scoring position with one out. Jackson delivered with a long three-run to left-center, his 14th of the season and sixth against the Biscuits to give the Trash Pandas their biggest lead of the night at 8-2.
Luke Murphy fired a scoreless bottom of the seventh and Aaron Hernandez allowed a run but limited the damage in the eighth.
Kolton Ingram was called on for the bottom of the ninth and immediately worked into trouble, giving up three runs while recording only one out. He departed with a runner on second and one out, with closer Eric Torres coming in to a two-run game with the tying run at the plate. Torres got the second out on a ground out from Ronny Simon. However, back-to-back walks put the tying and winning runs on base with two outs. Torres escaped by getting Johan Lopez to ground out on a tapper to O’Hoppe in front of home plate, leaving the bases loaded and giving the Trash Pandas the 8-6 win.
By getting the final two outs, Torres (S, 20) earned his 20th save of the season, becoming the first Angels minor leaguer to record 20 saves in a season since Eduardo Paredes in 2015.
Offensively, Jackson led the way by going 2-for-4 with two runs and his three-run home run. Neto went 3-for-5 with a double, two runs scored, and an RBI. O’Hoppe was 1-for-3 with two RBI and two walks while Palmeiro also added a pair of hits in the victory.
The Trash Pandas (77-53, 36-25 second half) continue their series with the Biscuits (65-58, 37-24 second half) on Saturday night. First pitch at Riverwalk Stadium is set for 6:35 p.m. Josh Caray will be on the call for 103.9 FM THE UMP and 730 AM SportsRadio.