Lexington: Legends take 3 of 4 to start campaign
C Chase Vallot (4 games) 7-14, 4 BB, SF, 3 2B, 4 RBI, 5 K, 4 RS, 4 PB
RF Amalani Fukofuka (4 games) 6-17, 2 BB, 2B, HR, 4 RBI, 4 K, 3 RS, picked off (Fri.)
CF Cody Jones (3 games) 2-12, 2 BB, 2 RBI, SB, 7 K, RS
2B D.J. Burt (4 games) 4-12, 2 BB, 3 2B, 3 RBI, 2 K, 4 RS, 0/1 SB, E
LF Anderson Miller (3 games) 1-9, 4 BB, S, 3B, SB, 5 K, 4 RS
SS Marten Gasparini (4 games) 2-14, 3 BB, SF, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 8 K, 3 RS, SB, 3 E
LF/DH Ben Johnson (4 games) 5-13, 3 BB, 2B, 3B, 7 RBI, 2 K, SB, 5 RS, E
1B Samir Duenez 3 hits, 2 RS Saturday; 2 hits, 2 RBI Sunday
1B Brandon Dulin 3B, 2 RBI Sunday
SP Scott Blewett (Thu.) 4 1/3 IP, 3 ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 4 K, HRA — ND, 6.23 ERA
SP Foster Griffin (Fri.) 4 IP, 2 R (1 ER), 3 H, 3 BB, K, HRA — ND, 2.25 ERA
SP Corey Ray (Sat.) 4 1/3 IP, 2 R (1 ER), 5 H, BB, 4 K, E — ND, 2.08 ERA
SP Nolan Watson (Sun.) 3 IP, 7 R (6 ER), 9 H, 2 BB, 4 K, HRA, balk — ND, 18.00 ERA
RP Jacob Bodner (Thu.) IP, H, BB, K — SV, 0.00 ERA
RP Niklas Stephenson (Fri.) 3 IP, 2 ER, 2 H, BB, 3 K, HRA — BS, 1, W, 1-0, 6.00 ERA
RP Yunior Marte (Sat.) 4 2/3 IP, ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 7 K, WP — W, 1-0, 1.93 ERA
RP Kyle Kubat (Sun.) 3 IP, H, K — 0.00 ERA
** The Legends got off to the best start of any Royals farm team in taking 3 of 4 from Lakewood. Game 1 saw Lexington score 5 early runs thanks to a 2-run Jones single and a 3-run Fukofuka homer for his 1st of the season. Lakewood closed it to 5-4 but Miller tripled and scored in the 7th and Vallot added an insurance RBI double in the 8th to cement the 7-4 win.
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The Legends came back from down a run Friday to get a walkoff win. A Vallot RBI double tied it in the 3rd but a 2-run homer gave Lakewood a 4-3 lead in the 7th. Burt tied it with an RBI double in the bottom of the inning but made the third out at third to cut the rally short. The tie held into the 9th when a Gasparini sac fly ended it.
Lexington took the mystery out of the game Saturday as they scored in bunches en route to an 11-3 win. Gasparini stole home as part of a 3-run 1st and a 2-run Burt single capped a 5-run 5th. Johnson hit a 2-run triple and scored in the 6th to finish the scoring. Marte was the story on the mound with 7 K’s over 4 2/3 IP to get the win out of the pen.
Sunday’s series finale was a slugfest that saw the BlueClaws avert the sweep with a late rally. Watson’s 2016 debut was a rough one as Lakewood scored 5 runs in the first 2 innings. Lexington responded with a 2-out rally in the 3rd as the Legends cut the lead to 5-3. Watson gave up another homer in the 4th and Kubat let an inherited runner score to make it 7-3 Lakewood.
Kubat settled down from there and the Legends rallied in the 6th. Dulin hit a 2-run triple and Burt drove in 2 with a double as a 6-run surge made it 9-7 Legends. RP Torey Deshazier couldn’t hold the lead in the 9th and the Claws squeezed home a run in the 10th to make it 10-9 Lakewood. The Legends went down in order in the 10th.
A 3-game set with Augusta (A San Francisco) starts Monday then the Legends hit the road for 4 with West Virginia (A Pittsburgh).