PawSox rally late to down Bulls in Game 1 of Governors' Series
Posted September 10, 2013
Updated September 11, 2013
Durham, N.C. — Pawtucket hung around long enough to get Durham Bulls starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi out of the game, then Brock Holt played hero for the Red Sox as they won Game 1 of the Governors’ Cup Finals at Durham Bulls Athletic Park Tuesday night, 2-1.
Offensively, Holt delivered a two-run infield single on a two-strike count in the eighth inning that tipped off the glove of a diving Mike Fontenot. He followed that up defensively with a potentially game-saving play, adding to his night of flashy fielding.
“That guy made like three plays tonight and had the big hit too,” Bulls manager Charlie Montoyo said unprompted following the game.
Holt went 2-for-4 with two singles on the night to go along with the two RBIs.
The Bulls threatened to come back in front of their home crowd in each the bottom half of the eighth and ninth innings, putting two runners in scoring position with less than two outs in each frame.
In the ninth, Durham loaded the bases with one out on back-to-back singles by Tim Beckham and Cole Figueora and an intentional walk to Jason Bourgeois. Pawtucket closer Anthony Carter shut the door, however, getting pinch hitter Shelly Duncan to pop out to third and Brandon Guyer to fly out to right.
In the eighth, the Bulls put the first two men on base on a walk and a hit by pitch before Pawtucket reliever Ryan Rowland-Smith got pinch hitter Evan Frye to strike out on a failed bunt attempt and got help from two diving plays behind him. With one out, Holt made a stop in the hole at second base to take a hit and an RBI away from Fontenot, then, left fielder Jeremy Hazelbaker made a diving catch in foul territory to retire Kevin Kiermaier and end the threat.
“They made some plays to win the game,” Montoyo said. “We had a chance at the end but couldn’t capitalize. They made the big pitch when they had to and we didn’t.”
Both Pawtucket runs were charged to reliever Jeff Beliveau who came on in place of Odorizzi with the Bulls staked to a 1-0 lead.
Odorizzi struggled with his out-pitch much of the night as he faced six 3-ball counts and had Red Sox hitters foul off 12 2-strike pitches, but still managed to keep Pawtucket off the board and recorded seven strikeouts in seven innings of work.
“I made an adjustment to them, stayed one step ahead, and made the pitches when I needed to,” Odorizzi said. “I wasn’t really concerned with the strikeouts. I was just trying to make a good two-strike pitch and not give them a two-strike hit.”
Odorizzi has now thrown 14 innings in two starts for the Bulls this postseason, surrendering just five hits and striking out 16.
“Odorizzi was outstanding again, he gave us a chance,” Montoyo said. “Our offense struggled.”
The Bulls scored first in the second inning, getting one run on a fundamental sequence. Fontenot doubled to lead off the inning and was moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Kiermaier. Jesus Flores then battled to a two-strike count and hit a sacrifice fly to left field, giving Durham a 1-0 lead.
Pawtucket starter Anthony Ranaudo did not factor into the decision but went six innings, surrendering just the one run on four hits and struck out four. Alex Wilson threw one scoreless inning to earn the win while Carter got credit for the save.
Red Sox eight-hole hitter Justin Henry scored the game-tying run in the eighth, made a diving catch in the seventh and reached base each of his final three plate appearances while seeing 20 pitches – including a 10-pitch battle with Odorizzi that ended with a single.
“I think the one time I gave up a 2-2 hit to Henry, he had a long at bat,” Odorizzi recalled following the game. “I was just trying to get him one way or another, if he gets a hit fine, if I throw him a curve ball fine, let him do what he wants to do with it.”
Game 2 of the best-of-five series is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday night at DBAP as International League Pitcher of the Year J.D. Martin goes for the Bulls against Pawtucket knuckleballer Steven Wright. The game can be heard live on 620 AM he Buzz and seen on Time Warner Cable channels 50.2 or 151.