The Lexington Legends opened the 2017 baseball season with seven road games in seven days.
The reward for that grueling grind comes Thursday, when the Legends play their home opener at Whitaker Bank Ballpark to start a seven-game home stand.
Lexington hosts the West Virginia Power for games at 7:05 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 6:35 p.m. Saturday and 2:05 p.m. Sunday. After that come three home games against Greenville.
Thursday’s weather forecast calls for sunny skies and a high temperature of 78.
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The Legends, Lexington’s Class A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals, will not enjoy their first scheduled day off until May 1.
Fans at Whitaker Bank Ballpark for Thursday’s home opener will welcome a Legends team off to a 2-5 start. The Legends won their season opener at Charleston (S.C.), then lost three straight to the RiverDogs. After a stirring 12-4 win over Greenville (S.C.) on Monday night, Lexington lost 4-3 to the Drive on Tuesday and 4-1 on Wednesday.
Scoring runs has been no problem. The Legends scored 38 in their first seven games. Pitching has been a problem. They’ve allowed 42 runs.
Third baseman Emmanuel Rivera leads the team in hitting (.440) and RBI (eight). Second baseman Angelo Castellano (.429) and right fielder Kort Peterson (.385) also are off to fast starts. Infielder/designated hitter Manny Olloque has two of the Legends’ three home runs, including a grand slam.
The Legends’ season-opening home stand will be jam-packed with promotions.
Postgame 3-D fireworks are part of the action Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. Opening night is a “Bark in the Park” game, meaning fans can bring their dogs to watch the Legends. The opener is also a “Thirsty Thursday,” with $1 beers and Pepsi products available all night. Saturday and Sunday are Hatfields and McCoys games, during which Lexington and West Virginia will don specialty jerseys modeled after the 1870s. The home stand wraps up Wednesday, April 19 with an Education Day Game starting at 10:05 a.m.
Visit LexingtonLegends.com for a complete list of promotions. Buy tickets through the team website or by calling the box office at (859) 422-7867.
Drive 4, Legends 1: Lexington made four errors — three that led to runs — and Drive relief pitcher Daniel Gonzalez closed the game with five hitless innings in the series finale at Greenville (S.C.) on Wednesday night.
The Legends dropped to 2-5.
Emmanuel Rivera drove in the Legends’ only run, a single to center that scored Gabriel Cancel. It gave Lexington a 1-0 lead and Rivera his team-leading eighth RBI.
Greenville tied it in the fourth on a single by Mitchell Gunsolus and took the lead in the fifth thanks to two Lexington errors. Yoan Aybar reached on an error by first baseman Chris DeVito, and a wild pitch moved him to second. An error by second baseman Cancel put runners on first and third, and Aybar came home on a double-play grounder to make it 2-1.
A throwing error by third baseman Manny Olloque allowed the Drive to score another run in the sixth.
Tyler Hill’s solo home run in the seventh capped the scoring for Greenville.
Lexington starting pitcher Jace Vines (0-2) was the tough-luck loser, allowing three hits and one earned run in five innings. Legends reliever Garrett Davila walked four in three innings and allowed two runs.
West Virginia Power at Lexington Legends
What: Legends home opener
Where: Whitaker Bank Ballpark
When: 7:05 p.m.
Radio: WLXG-AM 1300
Tickets: LexingtonLegends.com or (859) 422-7867