September 9, 2012 at 7:00 AM
After a heart-breaking loss on Friday night, the PawSox came back to dominate the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees (NYY) and advance to the Governors' Cup Finals with a 7-1 win.
The game was won in the second inning when all but two PawSox players had a hit. After six singles plated four runs, Danny Valencia (pictured) blasted a three-run home run to give Pawtucket a commanding seven-run lead. That was more than enough for Nelson Figueroa, who threw 8.0 brilliant innings, allowing one run on two hits, walking one and striking out eight. The lone Yankees run scored on a fourth-inning home run from Corban Joseph. Alex Wilson replaced Figueroa in the ninth and set down the side in order to secure the victory.
Bryce Brentz continued to impress in the postseason, going 2 for 3 with a double and a walk to raise his series average to .429. Juan Carlos Linares went 1 for 3 with a walk, and his two-out second inning single drove in a run and extended the inning for Valencia, who put it out of reach with his home run.
The PawSox will be playing in their first Governors' Cup Finals since 2003, and the first game will be Tuesday at McCoy Stadium against the Charlotte Knights (CWS). The Knights won the International League South Division, going 83-61, and defeated the Indianapolis Indians (PIT) 3–1 in the semi-finals.
Player of the Night: 38-year-old Nelson Figueroa went 7-2 this season as a member of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees. After being released by the Yankees on July 19th, he joined the PawSox and has been a huge boost to the rotation. Figueroa helped eliminate his former team with 8.0 strong innings, and he is lined up to pitch Game 3 of the championship series.
Photo Credit: Danny Valencia by Kelly O'Connor