Jake Junis pitched eight strong innings and Michael Antonio had three hits, including a home run, and three runs batted in as the Lexington Legends took a 5-3 win over the Asheville Tourists Thursday night.
Antonio’s two-run homer in the first inning gave the Legends an early 2-0 lead, but the Tourists answered with two runs in the top of the second. Wilfredo Rodriguez led off with a single and moved to second when Raimel Tapia was hit by a pitch. Ashley Graeter bunted down the third base line for a hit, and when Antonio threw past first for an error, Rodriguez scored, Tapia moved to third and Graeter advanced to second. After
Max White was called out on strikes, David Dahl grounded out, scoring Tapia from third to tie the game.
The Tourists moved in front 3-2 when Ryan McMahon hit his league-leading 10th home run of the season with one out in the third inning. The Legends evened the score in the bottom half of the third. Ramon Torres walked, stole second and moved to third on a throwing error by shortstop Pat Valaika when he tried to get a force out at second base after fielding Fred Ford’s grounder. Torres scored on Elier Hernandez’ sacrifice fly.
Hernandez’ leadoff homer in the bottom of the sixth gave the Legends a 4-3 lead, and they added a run in the seventh on a double by Chad Johnson and an RBI single by Antonio. Antonio has hit safely in his last 10 games.
Junis (3-2) got the win. He worked eight innings, allowed six hits, three runs, two earned, struck out five batters and walked two. Jose Rodriguez pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his third save.
Asheville starter Konner Wade (2-3) took the loss.
The Legends have won the first two games of the series, which concludes Friday night. Game time is 7:05 p.m.