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Governors' Cup final: PawSox vs. Durham, Game 2 preview

Posted by Craig Forde  September 11, 2013 03:08 PM

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Game 2, Wednesday, 7:05 p.m. at Durham Bulls Athletic Park
Pawtucket leads series, 1-0

If Game 1 was any indication as to how this Governors’ Cup final will shape up, then we’re in for a dandy of a baseball showcase in the coming days

It’s not often that a top-notch pitching matchup truly lives up the hype, but Durham’s Jake Odorizzi and Pawtucket’s Anthony Ranaudo were both sensational last night, each allowing just four hits before departing.

Ranaudo kept the PawSox in it through his six innings of work, giving up just one run in the second inning while striking out four.

Unlike his start in the semifinals versus Rochester where he continuously missed high with his pitches, Ranaudo was throwing down in the zone and was consistent with his fastball which was averaging around 91-92 miles-per-hour.

Odorizzi was a hair better, striking out seven and not giving up a run over seven innings. He did a phenomenal job of mixing in all of his offerings and as he surpassed 90 pitches into the seventh inning he reared back and blew 94 mph heat past Dan Butler to finish his night by striking out the side.

The good news for Pawtucket was that Odorizzi was unable to go the distance, and once out of the game they took full advantage, getting to reliever Jeff Beliveau immediately in the eighth.

After a Justin Henry single and a Heiker Meneses hit-by-pitch, Brock Holt (2-for-4) once again came up big when it counted the most, smoking a hot grounder to the right of second baseman Mike Fontenot who could not make a diving stop on the ball, allowing both Henry and Meneses to score and giving Pawtucket a 2-1 lead that they would hold on to.

Jeremy Hazelbaker came up with a big diving catch in foul territory to end the eighth inning with runners on second and third, preserving the one-run lead and reliever Anthony Carter worked out of a one-out bases loaded situation to earn the save.

Expect much of the same in Wednesday’s Game 2 as the PawSox put out the same lineup (with Alex Hassan and Hazelbaker switching up DH/LF roles) which has won them their last two games.

They will be up against International League Pitcher of the Year J.D. Martin, who was 16-4 on the season, including a win in his only start versus the PawSox.

Steven Wright makes the start for Pawtucket, coming off of a win against Rochester in game three of the semifinal series in which he dazzled with a knuckle-fastball combo that kept the Red Wings guessing over 6 1/3 scoreless innings.

In two starts against the Bulls this season Wright only logged five innings, allowing four runs (two earned), five hits and six walks while picking up a loss.

Over his last six starts, including the postseason, Wright has allowed just six earned runs and is 4-1.

We will pick up the live blogging of this series when the clubs make their way up to Pawtucket on Friday night, following a Thursday off-day for travel, but you can catch the action at MiLB.TV (subscription required) or by checking the local radio listings here.

GAME 2 STARTING LINEUPS

Pawtucket Red Sox
3B Jonathan Diaz
2B Brock Holt
LF Alex Hassan
1B Mark Hamilton
RF Bryce Brentz
DH Jeremy Hazelbaker
C Dan Butler
CF Justin Henry
SS Heiker Meneses

Durham Bulls
CF Kevin Kiermaier
3B Cole Figueroa
SS Tim Beckham
LF Jason Bourgeois
1B Vince Belnome
RF Brandon Guyer
DH Shelley Duncan
2B Mike Fontenot
C Craig Albernaz

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
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About the author

Craig Forde covers baseball talent as it develops into the next big thing. He has covered high school and college sports for the Boston Globe, and the minor league teams More »

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