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Early lead gives Legends edge to beat Asheville Tourists 7-2, series tied at 1-1

The Lexington Legends scored five runs in the first inning on their way to a 7-2 win over the Asheville Tourists Sunday night at Whitaker Bank Ballpark.

Brandon Downes hit a double to bring in two runners and later scored a run. (Erin Grigson Photo)

Brandon Downes hit a double to bring in two runners and later scored a run. (Erin Grigson Photo)

After the Tourists missed a scoring opportunity in the top of the first when they had runners at second and third and no outs, the Legends started quickly in the bottom of the inning. Corey Toups and Chad Johnson singled, and Ryan O’Hearn walked to load the bases.

Toups scored on a single by Elier Hernandez, and after Wander Franco flied out to short right field, Chase Vallot’s sacrifice fly brought Johnson home. Brandon Downes doubled down the left field line to score two more runs, and Downes came home on a single by Samir Duenez.

The score remained 5-0 until the sixth inning when the Tourists scored their first run. Josh Fuentes reached second on a throwing error by Toups, the shortstop. Fuentes moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a sacrifice fly by Roberto Ramos.

The Legends answered with two runs in the bottom of the sixth on a walk to Luis Valenzuela, a triple by Toups and a single by Johnson.

Asheville added a run in the eighth to leave the final at 7-2.

Colin Rodgers (2-6), who entered the game with two outs in the fifth inning, got the win. Starter Corey Ray worked the first four and two-thirds innings. He allowed five hits, no runs, walked one and struck out three. Nik Stephenson relieved Rodgers in the eighth and finished the game, retiring all four batters he faced.

Asheville starter Ryan Castellani (0-6) was the losing pitcher.

The four-game series is even at one win apiece, with game three set for Monday night at 7:05 p.m.

From Legends Communications

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