Binford has right tools to halt Suns

August 08, 2013

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Mark Threlkeld made up for his mistakes in a big way on Thursday.

Lexington’s first baseman redeemed himself from a first-inning error with two hits and three RBIs to lift starting pitcher Christian Binford and the Legends to a 5-1 win over the Hagerstown Suns.

Hagerstown and Lexington are each battling for South Atlantic League second-half titles. The Legends (62-53, 29-18) maintained a 1 1/2-game lead over Augusta in the Southern Division.

The Suns (66-48, 28-19), the first-half champions, have lost two straight to fall 2 1/2 games behind West Virginia in the Northern Division. The Power posted a 7-0 victory over Lakewood on Thursday.

Binford (8-5), a Hagerstown native and Mercersburg Academy graduate, went five innings for Lexington, allowing an unearned run on five hits and a walk, while striking out six. He has a 1.87 ERA for the season.

The Suns jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning.

Narciso Mesa reached when Threlkeld failed to catch a popup for an error. Mesa stole second with one out and scored on Shawn Pleffner’s single to center.

Threlkeld started making up for the bobble in the bottom of the inning with a two-out home run to left — his fifth of the season — off Suns starter Nick Lee to tie the game at 1.

The Legends jumped on the Suns for three runs in the fifth as Fred Ford and Mark Donato drew walks to start the inning before advancing on a wild pitch.

With two outs, Terrance Gore and Ramon Torres each drew walks to score Ford and end Lee’s night. Threlkeld greeted reliever Ronald Pena with a two run single to give Lexington a 4-1 lead.

Lexington capped the scoring with a run in the eighth as Ford hit a two-out double before Donato was intentionally walked by Pena. Ford scored when Nick Cuckovich reached as Pleffner dropped a popup at first base for an error.

Walks did in Lee, who walked five, while striking out nine, in 4 2/3 innings. He allowed four runs on just two hits. Pena pitched the final 3 1/3 innings, allowing an unearned run on five hits.

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