West Virginia Power �7, �Lexington Legends �3 (box)
The Power kept pouring it on, taking advantage of errors by the Legends, to take the first game of this series in Lexington.
The game started with 2 runs in the top of the 1st. �With one out, 2B Jarek Cunningham tripled off the right field wall, then scored on CF David Rubinstein’s RBI single. �1B Aaron Baker walked, and Rubinstein stole third base. �When Baker was picked off first, he got caught in a run-down, but he delayed long enough for Rubinstein to score, as the throw to the plate from the Legends’ shortstop, breaking off the run-down, was off-target.
Phillip Irwin had the start for the Power. �He retired the first three Legends’ batters he faced, but gave up a lead-off triple and an RBI single in the bottom of the 2nd (similar to the Power in the 1st). �Irwin went on to pitch a scoreless 3rd, working around a single, then began the 4th with a strikeout, a single, and a ground out. �Maurice Bankston finished off the 4th inning with a fly out.
The Power added to their lead in the top of the 3rd. �DH Elevys Gonzalez lined a single into center, which the centerfielder couldn’t handle. �Cunningham followed with a long blast down the left field line, just barely on the happy side of the foul pole. �Moments later, Baker smashed a long fly over the left field wall for a solo homer, and the Power had a 5-1 lead.
Power batters took advantage of an error in the 7th. �RF Jose Hernandez led off with a walk, and an error on a pick-off attempt put Hernandez on second base. �SS Benji Gonzalez sacrificed Hernandez to third, and Elevys Gonzalez’s sacrifice fly brought him in. �Power up 6-1.
Maurice Bankston worked around a single in the 5th, and a single and a walk in the 6th. �The Legends got to him in the 7th. �With one out, a walk, a single, and a throwing error by C Ramon Cabrera when his throw on the steal went sailing into center field allowed the runner to score from third base. �A double brought in another run, and the Legends came a little closer, 6-3.
Rubinstein and Cabrera got one of the runs back in the 8th. �Rubinstein led off with his second single of the game, as the Legends’ second baseman let the ball play him, and it scooted over behind second base. �Rubinstein stole second base, and came around to score on Cabrera’s RBI single. �Elevys Gonzalez made the 9th a little interesting with a stand-up triple over the head of the Legends’ centerfielder and off the center field wall.
Marc Baca finished the 7th inning for Bankston, then pitched a scoreless 8th inning. �He gave up a lead-off single, but Cunningham started a 4-6-3 double play (Cunningham to Benji Gonzalez to Aaron Baker) to erase that runner. �Gabriel Alvarado pitched the 9th inning, which he ended with a strikeout. �Bankston earned the win, his third of the season.
The Legends, an Astros’ affiliate, have video broadcasting from their home park (I think it was a gift from Roger Clemens, when his son was playing there). �This 4-game series is scheduled to be broadcast on milb.tv �– tonight’s game was on. �Take this opportunity to check out the Power — tomorrow’s game is also a school-day special, beginning at 10 am.
Lakeland Flying Tigers � 8, �Bradenton Marauders �3 (box)
The Marauders could not overcome two early 3-run innings, managing only 3 runs on 9 hits in Bradenton on Tuesday. �Bradenton starter Jeff Locke hit a batter and walked a batter in the 1st inning, but got out of the jam with two strikeouts. �He was not so fortunate in the next two innings, though. �The 2nd inning began with a solo home run, then three consecutive singles loaded the bases with one out. �An RBI ground out brought in one run, and a single scored the third run. �RF Austin McClune’s throw in from the outfield nailed the second runner at the plate, though, to end the inning.
The third inning was no better. �A double and a walk opened the inning, and a ground out put the runners on second and third. �A single sliced into center field brought both runners in to score, and another double plated the third run. �That was the end of Locke’s evening, responsible for 6 runs on 8 hits and 2 walks. �Casey Erickson came on in relief. �He pitched to one batter, who reached base on a fielding error by 2B James Skelton, but McClune again made a perfect throw to the plate, cutting down the runner from second, who thought he was going to score on the error.
Erickson gave up a lead-off homer in the 4th inning, then pitched 3 scoreless innings, despite a walk, a fielding error by 1B Calvin Anderson, a double, and a single.
Austin McClune scored the Marauders’ first run in the 3rd inning. �He led off with a walk, moved to second base on Skelton’s single, and to third on a double play that erased both Skelton and the batter SS Brock Holt. A throwing error by the Lakeland second baseman put CF Robbie Grossman on base and let McClune race home. �The Marauders added another run in the 4th inning, when DH Eric Fryer doubled with two outs, and scored on Anderson’s RBI single.
The two teams traded home runs in the 8th inning. �1B Rawley Bishop homered in the top of the 8th, and LF Quincy Latimore greeted a new Lakeland reliever with a solo home run, his 6th of the season, in the bottom of the frame.
Tyler Cox pitched 2 innings for the Marauders, and gave up only one hit — that home run to Bishop. �Noah Krol pitched the 9th inning, and retired three Flying Tigers in order.