Trash Pandas start road trip with 9-2 win
By Aaron Cheris
BIRMINGHAM – The Rocket City Trash Pandas scored early and often, becoming the first Southern League team to reach the 40-win plateau with a 9-2 triumph over the Birmingham Barons in the opener of their six-game series at Regions Field on Tuesday night.
The Trash Pandas scored in each of the first four innings and five of the first six in route to their ninth win in their last 10 games, improving their record to a club-record 40-24, 16 games above .500.
Rocket City began the onslaught early as Orlando Martinez reached with a two-out single against Birmingham starter Sean Burke (L, 1-3). Jeremiah Jackson followed with a line-drive two-run homer into the left field stands that left his bat at 110 miles per hour to open the scoring.
An inning later, the Trash Pandas added on to chase Burke from the game. Ryan Aguilar led off with a walk, stole second, and came home to score on an RBI single from Kevin Maitan. Consecutive singles from Bryce Teodosio, Livan Soto, and Zach Humphreys scored two more runs as Burke departed. Orlando Martinez lifted a sacrifice fly to center off reliever Brian Glowicki, allowing Soto to score for a 6-0 Rocket City lead.
An inning later, Maitan lined a triple into the gap in left-center, scoring Braxton Martinez to make it a 7-0 lead after three. The triple was Maitan’s first since the 2019 season. Preston Palmeiro’s RBI double in the fourth scored Orlando Martinez, who reached with a one-out single.
Pitching with a lead from the start, Rocket City starter Adam Seminaris was effective. After a scoreless first, Seminaris got through the second with the help of a strong throw from Zach Humphreys to catch Craig Dedelow trying to steal. In a bid to get back in the game, Birmingham loaded the bases with one out in the third. With a chance to cut into the deficit, Tyler Nelsony grounded into an inning-ending double play, keeping the Barons off the board.
Seminaris got his first one, two, three inning of the night in the fourth. The Barons got on the board in the fifth on an RBI single from Jose Rodriguez. Seminaris ended his night with a strikeout of Lenyn Sosa to finish the fifth.
Seminaris (W, 2-1) earned his second straight victory by allowing one run on five hits with three walks and five strikeouts over five innings.
Jackson capped the Trash Pandas’ offensive attack with a long 407-foot solo home run to dead center for his second home run of the night, seventh of the season, and sixth in his past seven games to restore the eight-run lead at 9-1.
Nick Jones was first out of the Rocket City bullpen and tossed a scoreless sixth. Cristopher Molina (S, 2) was next out of the bullpen and was strong to finish the game, throwing the final three innings, allowing a run on two hits with one walk and two strikeouts to earn his second save of the season.
All nine Rocket City starters recorded at least one hit, with Jackson’s two home runs and three RBI leading the way. Maitan went 3-for-5 with two RBI for his second three-hit performance of the season while Soto, Palmeiro, Teodosio, and Orlando Martinez all chipped in with two hits.
The first-half North Division Champion Trash Pandas (40-24) continue their series with Barons (27-37) on Wednesday night. First pitch at Regions Field is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Josh Caray will be on the call for 103.9 FM THE UMP and 730 AM SportsRadio.