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Quero Tallies and Luna Closes in 4-3 Victory over Rocket City

August 25, 2023

After The Birmingham Barons toppled the Rocket City Trash Pandas in Game 1 by a score of 10-4, the Barons continued their winning ways in a narrow 4-3 victory in Game 2. Birmingham found themselves tied with the opposition heading into the sixth inning, Edgar Quero made sure the team

After The Birmingham Barons toppled the Rocket City Trash Pandas in Game 1 by a score of 10-4, the Barons continued their winning ways in a narrow 4-3 victory in Game 2. Birmingham found themselves tied with the opposition heading into the sixth inning, Edgar Quero made sure the team was ahead by hitting a two-run home run to snag the lead. LHP Gil Luna achieved his first save of the year with his 1.1 innings pitched to close out the road win.

The game kicked off with the starting pitching dueling on the mound. The Barons starting RHP Nick Nastrini started his fourth start of the season with four shutout innings. Nastrini in the early stages of the game allowed only two hits and one walk to go with five of his seven total strikeouts of the night.

In the top of the fifth, the Barons rewarded the right-handers’ efforts with a single run to break the scoreless tie. Colson Montgomery was the one to drive in the first run of the game with Jose Rodriguez being the party to cross home plate. Rodriguez had doubled the at-bat before Montgomery, and with a soft liner to left field scored on the play. The Chicago White Sox No. 1 prospect, Montgomery, finished the night 3-5 with an RBI.

Birmingham may have broken the scoreless tie; Rocket City tied the ballgame back up in the bottom half of the inning. The Trash Pandas secured their run off a Mariano Ricciardi double that scored Jose Gomez.

The end of the fifth marked Nastrini’s last inning as RHP Jared Kelley was the Barons first of four calls to the bullpen. The White Sox No. 5 prospect, Nastrini, finished his outing allowing four hits, one earned run and two walks to go with seven strikeouts.

The Barons scored again in the sixth inning, this time off Quero’s two-RBI homer. The 20-year-old switch hitter smacked his third home run with the Barons over the right field wall with Wilfred Veras scoring as well. Birmingham put themselves up two, but Rocket City cut their deficit in half with a run in the bottom of the inning.

In the bottom of the sixth, the Trash Pandas' D'Shawn Knowles knocked a sacrifice fly to right fielder Terrell Tatum, who threw Tucker Flint out at third but not before Sonny DiChiara scored.

Kelley’s night ended after the sixth inning as LHP Fraser Ellard took the mound for the seventh. The right-hander finished his night allowing two hits, one earned run and one walk to go with a strikeout. Ellard finished his lone inning of work with no hits or runs with one walk, in his four batters faced.

In the eighth inning, the two foes continued to fight through the nine-inning bout with both teams scoring a single run in their respective half innings. In the top of the inning, the Barons scored their run off a Moises Castillo single that scored Quero. In the bottom, the Trash Pandas scored their run on a force out grounder by Anthony Mulrine that scored Bryce Teodosio. The bottom of the inning got away from reliever and RHP Nick Gallagher, but LHP Gil Luna came in to keep the damage minimal.

Luna kicked off his 1.1 IP with a pick-off move to catch Mulrine too far off the bag. Luna is currently sitting at 10 PK on the year, which leads the Southern League.

The southpaw got himself into some trouble in the ninth inning, after getting two quick outs to kick off the inning. Luna walked the bases loaded before striking out Flint to secure the win in favor of Birmingham. The left-hander finished the night with zero hits, zero runs, three walks and one strikeout.

Birmingham put together two wins to start their final series with Rocket City and will now turn their efforts to Game 3 on Thursday, August 24th. The Barons are planning to have the White Sox No. 13 prospect, RHP Jonathan Cannon, take the bump for his seventh start in Thursday’s contest.