Bubba Starling’s home run in the fifth inning broke a 2-2 tie, and the Lexington Legends took a 4-2 win over the Greenville Drive Sunday afternoon at Whitaker Bank Ballpark.
The Drive scored a run in the top of the first inning on a leadoff double by Reed Gragnani and a one-out single by Aneury Tavarez.
The Legends took advantage of an error in the third inning to take the lead. Kenny Diekroeger and Terrance Gore started the inning with back-to-back singles, and both runners moved up on a sacrifice bunt by Raul Mondesi. Starling struck out for the second out. Cam Gallagher then hit a fly ball to left field, where Felix Sanchez dropped the ball, and Diekroeger and Gore both scored, giving the Legends a 2-1 lead.
The Drive evened the score at 2-2 in the top of the fifth. With one out, Sanchez doubled. Gragnani followed with a double to right center, but Starling’s throw and the relay from second baseman Ramon Torres cut down Sanchez at the plate. Jesus Loya’s single scored Gragnani, who slid home just ahead of the throw from right fielder Fred Ford.
Starling’s 12th homer of the year, a drive over the bleachers in left field, gave the Legends a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the fifth.
The Legends added their final run in the seventh. Gore led off with a bunt single and then stole second, his South Atlantic League-leading 68th stolen base of the year. After Mondesi walked, Threlkeld lined a single to left, scoring Gore.
Legends starter Miguel Almonte (6-8) worked the first five innings to get the win. He allowed seven hits and two runs, struck out seven batters and walked none.
The Legends will trail first-place Augusta by either four and one-half or three and one-half games when they open a three-game series in Augusta Tuesday night. (Augusta had a 5:05 p.m. game at Hickory Sunday.)
Game time Tuesday night is 7:05 p.m.