Scranton Wilkes/Barre RF Shelly Duncan belted a two-run, walk-off home run in the bottom of the 10th inning to lead the Yankees to a 2-0 win over the Pawtucket Red Sox and advance them to the Governor’s Cup Finals. Scranton won the best-of-five series over the PawSox 3 games to 1.
Duncan’s blast came on a 1-0 pitch right over the heart of the plate thrown by PawSox right hander Edgar Martinez, who had just entered the game in relief of lefty Hunter Jones. Jones (0-1) took the loss as 2B Bernie Castro led off the inning with a double to left and scored ahead of Duncan.
It was a tough way to end the season for Pawtucket as the team never really was able to get its league leading offense going against a stellar Yankees pitching staff. The PawSox were able to score a total of only 8 runs in the four game series.
This game was a pitcher’s duel from the get-go as both PawSox starter Bartolo Colon and Yankees starter Phillip Hughes showed the crowd at PNC Field why they are Major League-caliber pitchers. Colon had his best outing of the season, hurling 7 2/3 scoreless innings giving up only two hits. He struck out three and walked no one. Hughes matched Colon inning for inning, working eight scoreless frames giving up four hits while striking out 11 and also walking no one. Both these right handers should find themselves back with their Major League clubs before the end of the season.
The PawSox saw their best chance to score a run come in the top of the ninth when they had two men on with one out. But Yankees reliever Scott Strickland struck out Chris Carter and forced George Kottaras to ground out to third to end the threat.
Strickland (1-0) also worked a scoreless tenth to earn the win.
The most successful regular season in PawSox history did not carry itself into the playoffs. But Manager Ron Johnson and his club should take satisfaction in that they were able to successfully develop talent for Boston while still put together an entertaining product for the fans at McCoy.
NOTES: The Yankees will square off against the Durham Bulls in the Governor’s Cup Finals after the Bulls dispatched the Louisville Bats, 9-1 tonight to win their best of five series 3 games to 1. BOX
SCRANTON TIMES TRIBUNE REPORT
Tonight’s game four of the Governor’s Cup playoffs between the PawSox and Scranton/Wilkes Barre Yankees has been rained out. The game will be played tomorrow at 5:05pm. Bartolo Colon (3-1, 2.27) and Phil Hughes (1-0, 5.90) are still expected to start for Pawtucket and Scranton respectively.
The Pawtucket Red Sox were done in by another solid pitching performance by the Scranton/Wilkes Barre Yankees, falling 6-4 last night in game three of the Governor’s Cup opening round playoffs. The Yankees now hold a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five series.
Yankees’ ace Kei Igawa (1-0) kept the PawSox offense in check, allowing only two runs (one earned) on five hits in seven innings of work. The lone Pawtucket runs off Igawa came on a two-run single in the fourth by Josh Wilson.
Dusty Brown tagged a two-run homer off Yankees’ reliever Steven Jackson in the eighth. But despite cutting the Yankees’ lead to two runs, the PawSox were never much of an offensive threat against the Scranton pitching staff.
PawSox starter Adam Mills (0-1) took the loss in his Triple A debut. He worked only 3 1/3 innings, giving up five runs (four earned) on five hits. He struck out three and did not walk a batter. Mills gave up a single run in the first and two more in the second.
The big blow against the PawSox came in the fourth, in the form of a three-run homer to right by 3B Eric Duncan off PawSox reliever Jon Switzer. Two of those runs were charged to Mills.
The PawSox offense was only able to amass a total of six hits. Scranton collected ten, led by Ben Broussard who had three and Nick Green with two.
The PawSox are in a must win situation as game four of the series will be played tonight (7:05 pm) at PNC Field in Moosic, PA. RHP Bartolo Colon (3-1, 2.27) will pitch for the PawSox. He’ll be opposed by RHP Phil Hughes (1-0, 5.90) for the Yankees. Rain is in the forcast as tropical storm Hanna heads up the east coast.
NOTES: Game three of he Governor’s Cup playoff series between the Louisville Bats and Durham Bulls was postponed last night due to rain. Game three will be played tonight.
SCRANTON TIMES REPORT
Starter Davern Hansack pitched six innings of hitless ball and OF Jason Lane belted a home run and drove in two runs as the Pawtucket Red Sox beat the Scranton/Wilkes Barre Yankees 3-1 last night, knotting their best-of-five Governor’s Cup playoff series at one game apiece.
Hansack (1-0) struck out 8 and walked two during his outing, and was charged with giving up the Scranton run even though he did not yield a hit. Hansack began the top of the fifth by walking SS Nick Green, who advanced to second on a wild pitch. Green would score after advancing on two consecutive ground outs.
The PawSox bullpen did the rest, limiting the Yankees to two hits over the last three innings. Hunter Jones struck out three over the last 1 1/3 innings and picked-up the save.
The PawSox offense was still not up to its season-long standards, but got the job done. Lane drove in Jonathan Van Every with an RBI single in the third. He added a solo homer as insurance in the eighth. OF Jeff Corsaletti contributed a solo home run to right in the bottom of the fourth.
The Yankee pitching staff put together another respectable performance in the loss. Starter Ian Kennedy (0-1) worked seven innings, giving up two runs on five hits. He walked three and struck out five. Reliever Zachary Kroenke gave up Lane’s homer in the eighth.
The remainder of the series will be played at PNC Field in Moosic, PA beginning with game three tonight (7:05PM). RHP Adam Mills (NR) will make his debut for the PawSox. He’ll be opposed by LHP Kei Igawa (14-6, 3.45) for the Yankees.
SCRANTON TIMES TRIBUNE REPORT
NOTES: In game two of the other Governor’s Cup playoff series, the Louisville Bats showed why they tied for the best record in the league, banging out 24 hits and dominating the Durham Bulls 19-3. That series is also tied at one game apiece with game three tonight in Durham. BOX
The Pawtucket Red Sox look to even up their playoff series with the Scranton/Wilkes Barre Yankees as they play game two of their best-of-five game series tonight (7:05pm) at McCoy. The Yankees have a 1-0 lead following their 7-1 game one win last night. RHP Ian Kennedy (5-3, 2.35) will pitch for the Yankees. He’ll go up against RHP Devern Hansack (6-10, 4.08) for the PawSox.
Again I am unable to attend tonight’s game. Here is a brief preview…
Scranton/Wilkes Barre Yankees (1-0)
The Yankees belted three home runs last night as part of their game one victory. They look to take the series back to PNC Field in Moosic, PA with a 2-0 series lead.
Kennedy made 12 starts for Scranton this season. In his last outing, last Saturday at Rochester, Kennedy pitched 6 2/3 scoreless innings, giving up six hits and striking out 11 in a no decision against the Red Wings.
Pawtucket Red Sox (0-1)
It may be too simplistic to call this a must win game for the PawSox, but they do not want to take the series to Scranton down 2-0.
The PawSox had trouble converting their opportunities against the Yankees last night, stranding a total of 13 runners on base.
Hansack is coming off a brief two inning outing last Saturday against Buffalo, his first appearance since coming off the disabled list with a right arm contusion. In that game against the Bisons Hansack gave up two runs on four hits and did not figure in the decision.