(APPLEBEE'S PARK, Lexington, Ky.) Lexington's Michael Diaz took one for the team at Applebee's Park Monday night.
With the bases loaded, two outs and the score tied at 5-5 in the bottom of the ninth, Diaz was hit by a pitch to force in the winning run as the Legends beat the Hagerstown Suns 6-5. It was the second straight ninth inning come-from-behind effort for the Legends, who beat the Suns 6-3 Sunday with six runs in the ninth, including a three-run walk-off homer by Reinaldo Pestana.
In Monday night's game, Hagerstown built a 5-3 lead before Brian Pellegrini hit his 16th home run of the year leading off the eighth inning to close the gap to one run. In the ninth, Brandon Wikoff, who was playing in his first game for Lexington after being promoted from Tri-City, singled to lead off and went to second on a wild pitch by Hagerstown reliever Carlos Peralta. Peralta threw another wild pitch on a third strike to Steve Brown, allowing Brown to reach first as Wikoff moved to third. Brown stole second, but Pestana struck out. Jay Austin was intentionally walked to load the bases. The Suns tried to turn a double play when Albert Cartwright hit a ground ball to shortstop, but after Austin was out at second, Cartwright beat the relay to first as Wikoff scored the tying run.
Brian Pellegrini was intentionally walked to the load the bases again, bringing up Diaz. With third baseman James Keithley playing back, Diaz was planning to bunt, but the pitch from Peralta hit him in the right leg, forcing home the winning run.
Henry Villar (2-2), who allowed one hit in four innings of relief while striking out four, got the win. Peralta (4-3) was the losing pitcher.
Derek Norris and Michael Guerrero homered for Hagerstown. Norris leads the South Atlantic League with 23 homers and 74 RBI. It was Guerrero's third home run in two games.
The two teams meet again Tuesday night at Applebee's Park. Game time is 7:05 p.m.