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Yanks steamroll to first Cup crown

Miranda, Basak support Hughes' 12-strikeout effort in clincher
September 12, 2008
DURHAM, N.C. - This time, it wasn't even close.

After the first three games of the Governors' Cup Finals were decided in the final at-bat, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees ran away with a 20-2 rout of the Durham Bulls on Friday to claim their first championship in front of 3,374 fans at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.

"It's special, not only for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and the fan base and everybody there, but for some of these guys this is their first opportunity to win a championship," Yankees manager Dave Miley said. "This is just a great feeling tonight."

The victory gave Scranton/Wilkes-Barre its first title since the Scranton Red Sox won the Eastern League championship in 1948. The community has spent the last 20 seasons in Triple-A, losing in the championship series in 1992, 2000 and 2001.

It also was the second year in a row that Durham lost in the Finals.

"I'm proud of my club to get to this point with all the movement and seeing the guys that have been sent up to the big league club," Bulls manager Charlie Montoyo said. "And we're still fighting to win a championship? That's a great year."

Game 4 was over almost as soon as it started as the Yankees scored five runs in both the second and third innings to build a 10-0 advantage that proved insurmountable with Phil Hughes on the mound.

Hughes (1-0) was nothing short of dominant over five innings, allowing four hits while striking out a dozen Bulls. He suppressed Durham's only major threat in the fourth when, after walking in a run, he struck out the side with the bases loaded.

"That one inning, he was able to turn it up a notch and strike out the side. The game's still close at that point," Miley said. "You've got to tip your hat to him. That was a huge inning for us the way this series has been going."

It was the second straight inning Hughes struck out the side as the right-hander recorded at least two punchouts in each of his five frames.

Every Yankee scored at least once, led by No. 9 hitter Chris Basak, who went 4-for-4 with four runs scored and three RBIs. Juan Miranda drove in six runs, while Justin Christian and Bernie Castro had three RBIs apiece. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre collected 18 hits and capitalized on three Durham errors.

The Yankees got on the board in the second, despite producing only two hits. Chris Stewart walked with one out ahead of a single by Basak. Christian hit a potential double play ball to second, but Jorge Velandia booted it to load the bases. A walk to Castro plated the first run before Miranda drove in two with a base hit to right.

Bulls starter Wade Davis (1-1) induced another potential inning-ending double play, but Chris Richard dropped the relay to first, allowing two more unearned runs to score.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre crossed the plate five more times in the third, loading the bases on singles by Eric Duncan and Stewart and a walk by Basak. Jeremy Cummings relieved Davis but surrendered a two-run double to Christian off the "Blue Monster" in left. Castro and Miranda followed with RBI singles before Shelley Duncan's double play plated the final run of the frame.

"We took advantage of some mistakes early," Miley said. "I'm just so proud of my guys."

Davis ended up allowing eight runs -- five earned -- in two-plus innings with six walks and two wild pitches.

"Just one of those nights," Montoyo said.

Davis had been sterling for the Bulls in his first postseason outing and in nine starts at the end of the season after a callup from Double-A Montgomery.

Hughes quelled Durham's rally in the fourth and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre poured it on the sixth, scoring eight times against relievers Calvin Medlock and Chris Mason. Ben Broussard started the inning with an RBI double and Miranda capped it with a three-run homer to right that increased the lead to 19-1.

Gabby Martinez's solo homer in the eighth was one of the few highlights for the Bulls.

Tim Britton is an associate reporter for