Jordan Smith and the RubberDucks are demonstrating it's how you finish that really counts.
The Indians outfielder went 3-for-4 with two doubles, a walk, a stolen base, two runs scored and an RBI on Wednesday as Akron topped Trenton, 4-2, to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-5 Eastern League Championship Series at Canal Park.
"I felt good," said Smith, whose club went 22-10 in August and September to clinch the division title. "It's obviously the championship, so I'm just trying to do whatever I can to get on base and score runs."
After going hitless in his previous four games, the 26-year-old reached on an infield single in the first inning. He slapped an RBI double to right in the third and doubled again in the fifth, coming around to score both times. Smith capped his big night by drawing a leadoff walk and stealing second in the seventh.
"I just try to go up there with a clear head and focus pitch to pitch and not try to get too big, just stay within myself and stay focused," the 2011 ninth-round pick said.
Smith is wrapping up his third straight season with Akron, although he played 17 games in two stints with Triple-A Columbus this year. The St. Cloud State product posted a .338/.427/.519 slash line over his last 20 regular-season games.
"It's all about how you finish, not how your start -- that's the name of the game," he said. "So it feels good to go [out] with a bang and finish strong. And then with this big playoff run we're having, it's been a real fun year."
RubberDucks starter Rob Kaminsky (1-0) followed a similar trend, posting a 4.14 ERA in his first 15 starts and a 2.29 ERA in his final 10 outings. Making his second postseason start, the Indians' No. 19 prospect struck out eight while allowing two runs on seven hits over 6 2/3 innings.
"[Kaminsky] was unreal. Talk about a guy who finished strong," Smith said. "He has been lights-out and he is the main reason why we're doing so well this playoff run. All our pitchers have been lights-out."
After Cameron Hill retired all four batters he faced, Louis Head pitched around a walk and a hit by fanning two in the ninth for his first playoff save.
Yankees No. 15 prospect Billy McKinney tripled, doubled and scored both runs for Trenton, which hosts Game 3 on Friday.