BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — The Rocket City Trash Pandas got contributions from everyone in the starting lineup and even off the bench, tying a franchise record with 23 hits in a 12-2 win over the Birmingham Barons in front of a crowd of 6,228 at Regions Field on Wednesday afternoon.
Ten different Trash Pandas recorded at least one hit, with all nine starters and pinch-hitter Gustavo Campero getting in on the offensive attack as the Trash Pandas scored a season-high 12 runs to win their fifth straight game at Regions Field to start the 2022 season.
The Barons were able to strike first against Trash Pandas starter Brent Killam with a sacrifice fly from Xavier Fernandez to open the scoring in the bottom of the first.
From there, the game belonged to Rocket City. In the top of the third, Jose Gomez tied the game with an RBI single to right. Preston Palmeiro then grounded into a fielder’s choice, but the return throw to first was array, allowing Braxton Martinez to trot home from third with the go-ahead run. Bryce Teodosio capped the inning’s scoring with a sharp single up the middle, plating Palmeiro to give Rocket City a 3-1 lead.
An inning later, Rocket City broke the game open. Anthony Mulrine began the inning with a single to center. Torii Hunter Jr. then connected on a 412-foot two-run home run into the Trash Pandas bullpen in left for his third homer of the season and a 5-1 lead. The rally continued as Livan Soto and Zach Humphreys singled and Orlando Martinez doubled to deep right, scoring Soto. A double play ground out plated the seventh Rocket City run and Preston Palmeiro added on with a towering 429-foot homer over the Birmingham bullpen in right-center, his second homer of the season, making it a 9-1 game after four innings.
In the fifth, the Trash Pandas broke into double digits on back-to-back RBI doubles from Braxton Martinez and Jose Gomez. Killam (W, 2-2) returned to the mound in the bottom of the inning and allowed a leadoff homer to D.J. Burt. That would be all the damage Killam allowed, as he finished a strong start after five innings, giving up two runs on five hits with two walks and five strikeouts.to earn his second victory of the season.