Humberto Arteaga’s single drove in the tie-breaking run in the sixth inning as the Lexington Legends took a 3-1 victory over the Asheville Tourists Monday night.
Legends pitchers held the Tourists, who lead the South Atlantic League in team batting average at .278, to two hits. The Legends have the lowest team earned run average in the league, 2.69.
The Legends’ Bubba Starling returned to the lineup with a double, a single and a run batted in. Starling, the Kansas City Royals top draft pick in 2011, had missed seven games while having his vision evaluated and undergoing Lasik surgery in Kansas City.
Asheville opened the scoring with a run in the fourth inning. Kyle Von Tungeln was hit by a pitch and then stole second base. Matt Wessinger beat out a bunt for a hit as Von Tungeln moved to third. Wessinger stole second, and Rosell Herrera walked, loading the bases. Legends starter Miguel Almonte struck out the next two hitters, but then walked Francisco Sosa to force in a run.
The 1-0 lead for Asheville held up until the sixth inning. Ethan Chapman reached second when third baseman Jose Rivera fielded Chapman’s bunt and threw past first for an error. After Starling struck out, Fred Ford singled, scoring Chapman with the tying run. Michael Antonio doubled to left field, putting runners at second and third, and Arteaga greeted reliever Brook Hart with a line single to left, scoring Ford and giving the Legends a 2-1 lead.
Lexington added its final run in the seventh when Terrance Gore singled, stole second and scored on a base hit by Starling. The steal was Gore’s 24th of the season. He is tied with Jesus Galindo of Augusta for second in the South Atlantic League in steals. Micah Johnson of Kannapolis leads with 35.
Chas Byrne (2-0), who relieved Almonte with two outs in the top of the sixth, got the win. Clayton Schulz, who pitched final inning and one-third and worked out of a bases-loaded, two-out jam in the eighth, earned his third save.
Asheville starter Matt Carasiti (0-1) was the losing pitcher.
The Legends and Tourists will play again Tuesday night. Game time is 7:05 p.m.