After suffering four losses in five games this weekend, it may be safe to say the Lexington Legends are ready to see Greensboro leave town. The Grasshoppers defeated the Legends 7-3 Monday night at Applebee's Park, taking their 10th win in 11 games against Lexington this season.
Unfortunately for Lexington, Greensboro's departure doesn't necessarily mean easier baseball. The loss gave the Legends (22-52) the worst overall record of all the full-season teams in minor-league baseball.
Still, the Legends won't be upset to see Greensboro hit the road.
”We don't need to play them anymore,“ Legends Manager Gregg Langbehn said. ”They're a good team.“
The Legends again struggled to keep up with a Greensboro offense that entered the game batting 73 points higher than the Legends in the first 10 meetings this year. The Grasshoppers have outscored the Legends 72-42 in their head-to-head matchups.
Michael Stanton, who hit the game-winning home run in Greensboro's 4-3 win Saturday, homered again in the fourth inning Monday night. It was Stanton's sixth home run against the Legends and 20th overall, good enough to lead the South Atlantic League. Greensboro's right fielder then doubled off the wall in the seventh inning to earn his 15th and 16th RBI in 11 games against Lexington.
Despite his success, Stanton was ready to head back home.
”We set out just to have a good game and get out of here and go home,“ Stanton said, adding that his team entered this series with an edge after falling three games short of first place in the first half of the season.
”We were kind of upset we didn't win the first half,“ Stanton said. ”We had to come out a lot harder in the second half.“
After falling behind 3-0, the Legends tried to rally in the sixth when Brian Pellegrini homered to right field, cutting the lead to 3-1. But Stanton's two-run double headlined the Hoppers' four-run seventh inning that pushed the lead to 7-1, well out of reach of a two-run Lexington rally in the ninth inning.
After the game, Langbehn pointed to his team's inconsistency as the key factor in their struggles against Greensboro and the rest of the schedule.
”They make plays when they need to,“ Langbehn said. ”Right now, we're not able to repeat it. In the course of the series, we had opportunities to win three out of the five. That's what you do when you're a good team: you make plays.“