Christian Binford pitched six strong innings and the Lexington Legends ran their winning streak to eight games with a 7-3 victory over the Greenville Drive Monday night.
The Legends maintained their two and one-half game lead over Charleston in the South Atlantic League Southern Division. Charleston defeated Hickory 8-4.
Binford (6-4) allowed five hits and one run as he picked up his sixth victory of the season. He walked one batter and struck out five, and lowered his earned run average to 2.00, second best in the league.
The Legends scored a run in the first inning. Terrance Gore walked, stole second, moved to third on Raul Mondesi’s ground out and scored on a sacrifice fly by Mark Threlkeld.
Lexington added two more runs in the third. Singles by Gore and Mondesi and a walk to Threlkeld loaded the bases, and with two outs, Michael Antonio drew a walk to force in a run. A wild pitch allowed Mondesi to score from third, and the Legends led 3-0.
The Drive scored their first run in the bottom of the third on a single by Keaton Briscoe, a walk to Jordan Weems, and a single by Reed Gragnani, but the Legends answered with a run in the fifth. Mondesi led off with a double, moved to third on a single by Threlkeld, and scored when Bubba Starling grounded into a force play, giving Lexington a 4-1 lead.
The Legends broke the game open with three runs in the eighth inning. With one out, Cam Gallagher singled. He moved to second on Fred Ford’s two-out single. Gallagher scored on Jin-Ho Shin’s double off the left field wall, and Ford also scored on left fielder Kevin Heller’s throwing error. Kenny Diekroeger’s single brought Shin home with the Legends’ final run.
Gragnani’s two-run single for Greenville in the bottom of the ninth closed out the scoring.
Greenville starter Cody Kukuk (4-9) took the loss.
The Legends and Drive will conclude their four-game series Tuesday. Game time is 11:05 a.m.