Marten Gasparini and Manny Olloque each hit two-run homers as the Lexington Legends built an early six-run lead before holding on for a 7-6 win over the Asheville Tourists Wednesday afternoon at Whitaker Bank Ballpark.
In the bottom of the first inning, leadoff hitter Rudy Martin reached first base on a fielding error by third baseman Max George. Gasparini then homered to left field, his fifth home run of the season.
With one out in the bottom of the second, Yeison Melo singled, reached second as Mark Sanchez grounded out, and scored when Martin tripled to center field. Gasparini brought Martin home with a single, giving the Legends a 4-0 lead.
The Legends added two more runs in the third. Gabriel Cancel reached first base on a throwing error by George, and Olloque followed with his fifth home run of the season.
The Tourists began to chip away at the lead in the fourth. With one out, Jose Gomez singled, moved to second on a wild pitch, and scored on a single by Colton Welker.
In the fifth, Jacob Bosiokovic drew a leadoff walk, stole second base and moved to third on a single by Brian Serven. After Geoffrey Bramblett relieved starter Arnaldo Hernandez for Lexington, Taylor Snyder lined out to shortstop John Brontsema, but the Tourists then executed a double steal, with Bosiokovic scoring from third. Serven, who stole second on the play, continued to third on Brontsema's throwing error and came home on a passed ball.
The Legends got one run back in the sixth when Martin singled, stole second and came home on Gasparini's triple, but Asheville answered with another run in the seventh. With two outs, Carlos Herrera reached first on a third-strike wild pitch, went to second on a single by Manny Melendez and scored on a single by Gomez, leaving the Legends with a 7-4 lead.
Asheville cut the lead to one with two runs in the eighth. Willie Abreu led off with a triple and scored on a wild pitch. George walked, stole second, went to third on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Taylor Snyder.
The Tourists threatened in the ninth. Leadoff hitter Melendez reached first on an error by first baseman Joe Dudek, and Gomez was hit by a pitch. But Welker grounded into a double play, and Abreu popped out to Olloque at third base to end the game.
Bramblett (3-1) got the win. Matt Wynne, who pitched the last inning and one-third, earned his first save.
Asheville starter Brandon Gold (3-5) was the losing pitcher.
The series is even at one win apiece, and concludes Thursday night. Game time is 7:05 p.m.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.