For a moment, Brian Kemp looked like Monday's hero.
With the Lexington Legends trailing the Rome Braves 4-2 in the seventh inning of an Applebee's Park matinee, Kemp batted with runners on first and second, nobody out.
After two foul bunts, Kemp nudged a third try fair. The throw from catcher Braeden Schlehuber to first baseman Robert Hefflinger skipped away, enabling one runner to cross the plate, the other to reach third and Kemp to stand atop first base.
None of that counted, though, as plate umpire Drew Ashcraft and field umpire Blake Felter conferred, ruling that Kemp's bat struck the ball twice. He was called out and the runners sent back to first and second.
Kemp came through with a two-out, two-strike, run-scoring double in the ninth to cut Rome's lead to 4-3. Jose Altuve then hit the ball hard but within reach for center fielder Kyle Rose, ending the game.
Rome, getting a first-inning solo home run and a sixth-inning three-run shot from Hefflinger, took three of five games in the opening series of the second half.
"I didn't get it down," Kemp said of his failed bunt. "I've got to get the bunt down in that situation, and they said I hit it twice."
Manager Rodney Linares agreed, with a nod to Rome right-hander Cory Rasmus (5-4).
"Basically we practice (bunting) every day," Linares said. "But to their credit, that kid (Rasmus) had us off-balance the whole game. He used his change-up a lot. Didn't see a lot of fastballs, and we're a fastball-hitting team. The credit goes to him."
Rasmus gave up two runs on two hits over 52⁄3 innings. Thomas Berryhill worked 31⁄3 innings for his fifth save.
Legends lefty Brad Dydalewicz (0-2) scattered seven hits over seven innings.
"I was really impressed with the way Dydalewicz threw the ball," Linares said. "He made two mistakes. Cost him four runs, cost us the game, but encouraged that he threw seven innings for the first time this year."
Jake Goebbert's two-out single in the fourth drove in Lexington's first run.
J.D. Martinez added a two-out solo homer in the sixth. He went 1-for-4, leaving his league-best batting average at .356.