Lexington Legends

With two stars gone, Legends open second half with loss

Unfortunately for the Lexington Legends, a fast finish to the first half of the season did not translate to a fast start of the second half.

Christian Vazquez cracked a pair of home runs to lead the Greenville Drive to an 8-2 victory over the Legends on Thursday, Latino Night at Whitaker Bank Ballpark, to open the second half.

The Legends had won their past six games to reach 35-35 and finish 4½ games behind first-half Southern Division winner Savannah.

Vazquez, a 5-foot-9, 195-pound catcher from Puerto Rico, hit his seventh and eighth homers of the season.

Greenville took a 1-0 lead in the first on a two-out triple by Miles Head and a double by Brandon Jacobs.

The Legends answered in the bottom of the inning with a two-out rally of their own.

Kike Hernandez singled up the middle, then scored when Adam Bailey knocked his 14th homer of the season, to right.

The Legends would get only two singles and two walks the rest of the night.

Greenville scored four unearned runs in the third.

Two singles and an error loaded the bases for Head, who walked. Another run scored when Jacobs grounded into a double play. Vazquez then belted a two-run homer to right field.

Drive right-hander Keith Couch (3-1) held the Legends to three hits over six innings, striking out six. Counterpart Ruben Alaniz (5-5) gave up one earned run over five innings.

Making his Legends debut in the sixth, right-hander Chia-Jen Lo gave up Vazquez's second homer, a solo shot to right, and struck out two in an inning of work.

■ The Legends lost two of their four all-stars to promotions over the break. SS Jiovanni Mier (.245-5 HR-29 RBI) is now with High-A Lancaster. C/DH Chris Wallace (.285-14-49), who won the All-Star Home Run Derby, moved to Double-A Corpus Christi. ... New to the roster are Lo and C Ben Heath (.262-5-23). Lo, from Taiwan, had been with Corpus Christi but had not pitched this season because of injury. Last year with the Hooks, Lo went 0-1 with a 1.80 ERA over seven relief outings totaling 15 innings. Heath hit .290 in 20 games with the Legends last year.