Pawtucket, RI - The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees committed the fewest errors in the International League in 2012, the second straight season that the Yankees held that distinction. Two SWB errors led to two unearned runs as Pawtucket overcame an early deficit for the second consecutive night picking up a come from behind 3-2 win and grabbing a 2-0 lead in the best of five opening round playoff series.
For the second consecutive night the Yankees got out to an early advantage grabbing a 2-0 lead on Paw Sox starter Chris Hernandez. Luke Murton led off the inning with an infield single and went first two third on a double from Melky Mesa. Austin Romine's ground out scored Murton for a 1-0 lead. With Mesa at second base, Hernandez paused at the top of the stretch and dropped the baseball on the first base side of the mound. A balk was called moving Mesa to third. Cole Garner singled through a draw in infield scoring Mesa for a 2-0 lead.
Ramon Ortiz (LP, 0-1) was cruising along until the first of the defensive miscues by the Yankees leading to unearned runs for the Red Sox. Dan Butler's grounder to third was fielded cleanly by Kevin Russo who over threw Murton at first base allowing Butler to reach first and then advance to second on the overthrow. With Butler at second base Bryce Brentz double to the gap in right center scoring Butler and the lead was cut in half at 2-1.
The Yankees maintained the lead until the bottom of the seventh inning when the Paw Sox grabbed the lead with a pair of runs off Ortiz for a 3-2 lead. Nate Spears led off the inning with a bloop double down the line in left that fell in between Ronnier Mustelier coming in from left and Ramiro Pena coming out from shortstop. With Spears at second and none out, Brentz flipped a single over the right side of the infield scoring Spears to tie the game at 2-2. Jon Hee was the next Pawtucket hitter who singled to right field in front of Garner. Brentz went from first to third on the play ahead of Garner's throw, which skipped past Russo as well as Ortiz who was backing up the play. The throwing error allowed Brentz to score from third base with the go ahead run giving the Red Sox the 3-2 lead. Hee was the last batter Ortiz faced on the night. The right hander took the loss allowing three runs, one earned on six hits with two walks and three strike outs.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre's bats went to sleep after the two run three hit second inning, picking up just two hits from the third through the eighth innings. The Yankees managed a pair of hits in the top of the ninth inning and got the tying run to second base but had their rally fall short. Jose De L Torre (SV, 2) picked up his second consecutive save allowing a leadoff single to Murton and a two out single to Garner before getting Ramiro Pena to fly out to center for the final out of the game.
Pawtucket is now one win away from sweeping the Yankees in the first round best of five series. The only time the SWB Yankees have been swept in a playoff series was in the Governors' Cup Finals in 2009 by the Durham Bulls.
The venue shifts to Frontier Field in Rochester, New York for the remainder of the best of five series. Game three between the Yankees and Red Sox will be at 7:05 PM Friday night. Left hander Mike O'Connor (3-6, 3.73 ERA) gets the start for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre who will try and avoid the three game sweep. Pawtucket will send right hander Billy Buckner (8-6, 3.91 ERA) to the mound to try and close the Yankees out.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.