(APPLEBEE'S PARK, Lexington, Ky.) Jonathan Meyer's base hit brought home the winning run with one out in the bottom of the eleventh inning as the Lexington Legends defeated the Delmarva Shorebirds 7-6 Saturday night at Applebee's Park.
Kody Hinze led off the eleventh with a walk. Barry Butera, who had joined the Legends earlier in the day after being transferred from Lancaster of the California League, entered the game as a pinch runner. He stole second and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Aaron Bray before Meyer lined a ball over the head of center fielder Steve Bumbry.
Delmarva opened the scoring with a run in the top of the first inning. T. J. Baxter led off with a walk and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Tyler Kelly. A wild pitch by Lexington starter Tanner Bushue moved Baxter to third, from where he scored on a sacrifice fly by Kieron Pope.
The Legends responded quickly. Lexington's first four hitters in the bottom of the first inning produced four runs. Grant Hogue and Jiovanni Mier singled, and Jake Goebbert followed with his eighth home run of the year to give the Legends a 3-1 lead. Delmarva starter Matt Hobgood had to leave the game at that point with an injury. His replacement, Nick Haughian, gave up a homer to the first man he faced, Hinze, to make the score 4-1. The homer, Hinze's 14th, increased his South Atlantic League-leading RBI total to 74.
Delmarva rallied to tie the game in the sixth inning on a three-run homer by Steve Bumbry. Bumbry's blast to right field, his fourth homer of the year, followed a double by Brian Conley and an infield single by Pope.
The Legends regained the lead in the bottom of the sixth on a triple by Bray and a balk charged to Delmarva reliever Tom Phelps. Lexington added a run in the seventh. Rene Garcia reached second base on an error by Pope in left field. Hogue sacrificed Garcia to third, and Jiovanni Mier hit a sacrifice fly to give the Legends a 6-4 lead.
But the Shorebirds came back again in the top of the ninth. Justin Dalles led off with a single. Garabez Rosa hit into a force play, and Baxter tripled down the left field line to cut the lead to one at 6-5. Tyler Kelly was called out on strikes for the second out, and then Mikey Planeta hit a slow bouncer to third base. Bray fielded the ball but his throw to first was high and Planeta was safe as Baxter scored the tying run.
Omar Casamayor's two-out single in the top of the 10th was the only hit after that until Meyer's game-winner.
Daniel Sarisky (2-0), who pitched the top of the 11th, was the winning pitcher. David Walters (0-1), who entered the game in the 10th inning, took the loss for Delmarva.
The teams will meet again in the series finale tomorrow at 2:05 p.m. at Applebee's Park. The Legends have won two of the first three games.
Roster changes for the Legends: : Second baseman Jose Altuve, who was a member of the South Atlantic League All-Star team and batted .308 for the Legends, was promoted to advanced-A Lancaster. Altuve also stole 39 bases with Lexington. Infielder Barry Butera was transferred to Lexington from Lancaster. Infielder Jimmy Paredes was assigned to Lexington. He had been with Charleston of the South Atlantic League, a New York Yankees affiliate, but was part of the trade between Houston and New York that sent veteran slugger Lance Berkman to the Yankees.