Trash Pandas drop third straight
Rocket City falls to Lookouts 5-4
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - For the third game in a row, the Rocket City Trash Pandas battled in a tight game but ultimately came up short, falling 5-4 to the Chattanooga Lookouts on Thursday night at Toyota Field.
Making his first professional start, Trash Pandas righty Luke Murphy was sharp for the first two innings. The Lookouts broke through in the third, scoring first on an Ivan Johnson solo homer to right and then on a James Free RBI single off reliever Brandon Dufault following Murphy’s departure to take a 2-0 lead after three. Murphy (L, 0-1) finished with two earned runs against on two hits with one walk and one strikeouts in 2.1 innings.
Johnson added another run for the Lookouts in the fourth with an RBI single to center, making it a 3-0 game off Dufault. Rocket City got back into it in the bottom of the inning against Chattanooga starter Lyon Richardson. Jeremiah Jackson reached with a one-out walk and stole second Kevin Maitan followed with a walk. Aaron Whitefield then laced a double to the gap in left-center, scoring both runners to make it a 3-2 game after four.
Chattanooga restored the three-run lead in the fifth off Jose Soriano, plating runs on a pair of wild pitches to capitalize on two walks and two singles. Again, the Trash Pandas fought back to trim the deficit. A walk by Bryce Teodosio and a double from David Calabrese put runners on second and third to start the inning. Two hitters later, Edgar Quero lined a single up the middle, plating two more to make it a 5-4 game after five.
Ivan Armstrong kept the game close out of the Trash Pandas bullpen with two scoreless innings, striking out one. Chattanooga relievers Carson Spiers (W, 4-1) and Andy Fisher combined to hold the lead through the seventh.
In the eighth, Kelvin Caceres entered for the Trash Pandas and retired the Lookouts in order. The Trash Pandas quickly put runners on second and third with one out in the bottom of the inning. But Teodosio struck out and Calabrese grounded out, getting Lookouts reliever Tommy Eveld through the jam with the lead still intact for the visitors. Caceres kept the one-run deficit with a scoreless ninth.
In the ninth, Orlando Martinez doubled to put the tying run in scoring position with two outs. Eveld (S, 4) then got Jackson to ground out, ending the game to earn the save.
Offensively, Whitefield went 1-for-3 with the two-run double, a walk, and three stolen bases to tie a Trash Pandas franchise record. Martinez went 2-for-5 while Quero drove in two of the four runs in the loss. As a team, the Trash Pandas were 3-for-15 with runners in scoring position, leaving 10 men on base.
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