The Durham Bulls lost Game One of the Governors' Cup Finals to the Pawtucket Red Sox, 2-1, on Tuesday night at the DBAP. Jake Odorizzi tossed seven scoreless frames, but two eighth inning runs gave the PawSox a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five series.
For the second time in the postseason, Odorizzi pitched a series opener and gave the Bulls seven shutout innings. He set a Bulls' Triple-A postseason record for most consecutive scoreless innings, with 14, doubling the previous mark.
Unfortunately for Durham, for the second time this postseason, Odorizzi suffered a no-decision.
The Bulls drew first blood, scoring in the second when Mike Fontenot doubled and eventually scored on Jesus Flores' sacrifice fly.
The Bulls managed just five hits the rest of the way. There were plenty of opportunities, as the team stranded a team Governors' Cup Finals record 13 runners on the night.
They had scoring opportunities in each of the last three innings. In the seventh, a Tim Beckham walk and Cole Figueroa single put runners at the corners. Jason Bourgeois drove a pitch into the gap in left center, but center fielder Justin Henry made a diving catch to end the inning.
With Odorizzi out of the game, the PawSox rallied in the eighth. Henry greeted reliever Jeff Beliveau (L, 0-1) with a single to right. Beliveau then hit number nine hitter Heiker Meneses. After a sacrifice, Brock Holt grounded a single off the glove of second baseman Fontenot to score the tying and go-ahead runs.
The Bulls threatened in the eighth, getting the first two batters on. Pinch hitter Evan Frey struck out trying to sacrifice, and Holt made a diving stop at second, his second in two innings, to prevent the tying run from scoring.
The Bulls then loaded the bases in the ninth with one out, but Shelley Duncan and Brandon Guyer couldn't get the tying run across.
The Bulls will attempt to even the series in the final DBAP game of the year, Wednesday at 7:05pm. IL Most Valuable Pitcher J.D. Martin (1-0, 2.25) will start for the Bulls against knuckleballer Steven Wright (1-0, 0.00).
Bulls game story brought to you by Strayer University, Bringing Home the Bulls in September.