FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: SEPTEMBER 10, 2013
DURHAM, NC - In a classic playoff game, the Pawtucket Red Sox scored two runs in the 8th and held off a late charge from the Durham Bulls to escape with a 2-1 victory in Game 1 of the Governors' Cup Championship series.
On the mound, it was a battle of former 1st round picks with Anthony Ranaudo on the hill for Pawtucket and Jake Odorizzi starting for Durham.
It would be the Bulls who would strike first in the 2nd inning as veteran Mike Fontenot led off with a double, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a sacrifice fly by Jesus Flores to grab a 1-0 lead.
Ranaudo cruised from there on allowing just two singles over his final four innings of work. He would work six innings allowing just one run on four hits while striking out four. He would give way to Alex Wilson in the 7th who was able to escape a two-out, runners at the corners jam thanks to a fantastic diving catch by Justin Henry in center field.
The PawSox offense did not muster much against Odorizzi having just one runner in scoring position over his seven shutout frames. The righty would strike out seven while scattering four singles.
But, in the 8th against Providence native Jeff Beliveau, the PawSox mounted a rally. Justin Henry, after making his great catch in center field, singled to start the inning. With two strikes, Beliveau hit Heiker Meneses with a pitch before Jonathan Diaz sacrificed the runners to second and third. That brought up Brock Holt. On the 7th pitch of the at-bat, Holt lined a single off the glove of Fontenot at second base and into center field scoring both Henry and Meneses to give Pawtucket a 2-1 advantage.
Ryan Rowland-Smith, the PawSox lone lefty on the staff, walked the lead-off batter in the 8th before hitting another. With no one out and runners at 1st and 2nd, IL Manager of the Year, Charlie Montoyo, pinch-hit for Leslie Anderson, the Bulls leader in homers and RBI, with Evan Frey to try and sacrifice the runners to second and third. Frey would strike out.
Fontenot then hit a ground ball that looked destined for right field, but Brock Holt snared it with a dive in shallow right, got to his feet and fired to first to get Fontenot and putting runners at 2nd and 3rd with two outs. The following batter hit a high pop up down the left field line that Jeremy Hazelbaker made a tremendous sliding catch in foul territory to end the Durham threat in the 8th.
There were more dramatics in the 9th as Anthony Carter was summoned to get the final three outs for Pawtucket. After a strikeout, Tim Beckham singled. Cole Figueroa singled advancing Beckham to third and Figueroa moved to second on the throw. Carter would issue an intentional walk to load the bases. Shelley Duncan, who was hitting in Anderson's spot in the lineup, popped up in foul territory to third for the second out and kept the bases full. Brandon Guyer followed with a fly out to right to wrap up the 2-1 victory for the PawSox and take a 1-0 series lead in the Governors' Cup Championship Series.
The PawSox will play Game 2 of the Governors' Cup Finals Wednesday night at 7:05pm at Durham Bulls Athletic Park. Pawtucket will send knuckleballer Steven Wright (1-0, 0.00) to the mound against J.D. Martin (1-0, 2.25) of the Bulls. The PawSox will return home to McCoy Stadium for Game 3 Friday night the 13th at 7:05pm and if necessary games Saturday at 6:05 and Sunday at 1:05pm.
Tickets for all possible 2013 PawSox playoff games at McCoy Stadium are on sale at the Box Office at McCoy. Fans can also charge tickets with any major credit card by calling the PawSox at (401) 724-7300 or visiting the PawSox website at www.pawsox.com. Great Box Seat tickets are still available!
Tickets for the 2013 Governors' Cup Finals will be priced the same as regular-season tickets. Box Seats are $12.00 apiece while General Admission are $8.00 for Adults and $5.00 for Children (aged 12 & under) & Senior Citizens.
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