Rocket City Drops 10-7 Slugfest In Tennessee
In a back-and-forth high-scoring affair, the Rocket City Trash Pandas gave up six runs in the eighth inning to suffer a 10-7 loss to the Tennessee Smokies in the second game of their six-game series at Smokies Stadium on Wednesday night. With a 7-4 lead in the eighth, the Trash
In a back-and-forth high-scoring affair, the Rocket City Trash Pandas gave up six runs in the eighth inning to suffer a 10-7 loss to the Tennessee Smokies in the second game of their six-game series at Smokies Stadium on Wednesday night.
With a 7-4 lead in the eighth, the Trash Pandas bullpen struggled. Kolton Ingram came in and allowed a double and two walks before departing. From there, Luke Murphy (L, 1-1) was only able to get one out as a bases-loaded walk and a single tied the game. Luis Vazquez put Tennessee ahead with an RBI single to left, plating two more runs to give the Smokies a 9-7 lead. Sean McLaughlin was next into the game and allowed an RBI single from Darius Hill to cap the scoring at 10-7.
Tennessee reliever Burl Carraway (S, 1) retired the Trash Pandas in the ninth to finish the win and earn the save.
The game began in similar fashion for the Smokies as they jumped out to an early lead against Trash Pandas starter Brett Kerry. Nelson Velazquez opened the scoring with a two-run homer inside the foul pole in left to get Tennessee off on the right foot after starting pitcher Anderson Espinoza struck out the side in the top of the first.
Rocket City responded in the third as Zach Humphreys led off the frame with a walk and Bryce Teodosio doubled to put the tying runs on base with one out. A wild pitch from Espinoza allowed Humphreys to come home before Livan Soto tied the game with an RBI single to left.
In the bottom of the inning, the Smokies restored the lead with Velazquez’s second home run of the night, another two-run shot to left to double the score to 4-2 off Kerry.
That would be all Kerry allowed for the duration of his outing. A couple fly outs and a strikeout in the fourth set the Smokies down in order. A leadoff single in the fifth didn’t deter Kerry as two ground outs and a strikeout kept the score at 4-2. Kerry ended his start with his best inning in the sixth, striking out the final three hitters he faced in his longest start of the season.
Over 6.0 innings, Kerry allowed four runs on eight hits while walking none and striking out six. The four runs allowed were the most by a Trash Pandas starter this season.
The Trash Pandas got a run back in the top of the sixth as Soto led off with a single and scored on a double by Braxton Martinez. An inning later, Humphreys went to the opposite field for a solo home run to right, tying the game at 4-4. Ryan Aguilar and Teodosio followed with walks to keep the inning moving. Soto then gave the Trash Pandas the lead for the first time with a double off the wall in left-center, plating Aguilar with the go-ahead run. A wild pitch from Smokies reliever Eury Ramos allowed Teodosio to score and a passed ball from catcher Bryce Windham plated Soto with another run, giving the Trash Pandas a four-run seventh for a 7-4 lead.
Tennessee native Zach Linginfelter was first out of the Trash Pandas bullpen in the seventh and pitched a scoreless inning in his first professional outing in his home state. In the eighth, the Rocket City lead vanished as Tennessee rallied for the win.
At the plate, Soto was 3-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBI while Humphreys was 1-for-3 with his second home run of the season and two runs scored.
The Trash Pandas (7-4) and Smokies (6-4) continue their series on Thursday night. First pitch at Smokies Stadium is scheduled for 6 p.m. Josh Caray will be on the call for 103.9 FM THE UMP and 730 AM SportsRadio.
Rocket City returns home to Toyota Field on Tuesday, April 26 to begin a 12-game homestand with a six-game series against the Birmingham Barons.