When Anthony Gose came to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs in the second inning, he had reason to be anxious. But even though he'd recorded only two hits in his previous 18 postseason at-bats, he was perfectly comfortable with the situation.
"I wasn't worried, I wasn't pressing for a hit," Gose said. "Just keep the ball on the barrel and the hits will come."
The Blue Jays' No. 2 prospect came through with a three-run double to send the New Hampshire Fisher Cats on their way to a 7-5 victory over Richmond Flying Squirrels that evened the Eastern League Championship Series at 1-1.
"We're headed on the road and this win meant a great deal for the team to make it even," Gose said. "We can head out there fresh."
The double was the lone hit for the 21-year-old center fielder, who stole a pair of bases. Acquired from the Astros for Brett Wallace in July 2010, he batted .253 with 16 homers, 59 RBIs and a league-leading 70 steals during the regular season.
Fisher Cats starter Nestor Molina (1-1) allowed one run on three hits and struck out eight over five innings. The 22-year-old right-hander went 2-0 with a 0.41 ERA in five regular-season starts for New Hampshire after spending most of the year with Class A Advanced Dunedin.
"Nestor's been unbelievable for us all year, not just tonight. He's been a real dominant force for us. Him and Drew Hutchison are two young guys who've been our crutch, holding us strong," Gose said, referring to the Jays' No. 9 prospect. "They've given us great chances to win."
Rehabbing Major Leaguer Colby Rasmus had two hits and scored twice for the Fisher Cats, while Kevin Howard went 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles and two RBIs.
New Hampshire took a four-run lead into the ninth, then survived a Richmond rally. The Flying Squirrels plated two runs before sending Juan Perez, the potential tying run, to the plate with two outs. But Bobby Korecky got Perez to ground out to third to end the game.
The best-of-5 series resumes Friday, with the remaining games being played in Richmond. Although the Fisher Cats have to take two of three on the road, Gose said they like their chances.
"We're playing well as team," he said. "Today, we came up with the big hits and got guys on base. If we continue to play the baseball that we have all year long, we definitely have a good chance to walk away with two of three in Richmond."
Francisco Peguero and Charlie Culberson had three hits apiece and Johnny Monell drove in two runs for the Flying Squirrels. Richmond starter Daryl Maday (1-1) was reached for four runs on eight hits over five innings.