September 12, 2012 at 8:38 AM
impressive night at the plate as they grabbed a 7-2 victory over the Charlotte Knights (CHW) in game one of the International League Finals.
The teams traded runs in the first inning and entered the third inning tied 1-1. In the bottom half of the third, Danny Valencia's (pictured) two-run home run gave the PawSox a 3-1 advantage. Pawtucket held a 4-2 lead after four and opened up the game in the seventh when Tony Thomas smacked a two-run home run and J.C. Linares added a solo shot.
Steven Wright picked up the victory as he pitched 7.0 impressive innings, allowing two runs on six hit and two walks while striking out six. Alex Wilson and Josh Fields each added an inning of scoreless relief out of the bullpen.
Thomas, Linares, Nate Spears and Bryce Brentz each had two hits to pace the PawSox offense. Linares and Brentz continued to stay hot at the plate, now hitting .438 and .471, respectively, in the playoffs.
Pawtucket is trying to win their first Governor's Cup since 1984, while the Knights are looking to claim their first title since 1999. The win for Pawtucket is the first Governor's Cup game victory since September 13, 1984, when they defeated the Maine Guides to claim the International League title. The victory was also the first Governor's Cup match that the PawSox have won at home since September 10, 1978. Game two of the finals takes place tonight at 7:05 as Zach Stewart takes the mound for Pawtucket.
Player of the Night: Danny Valencia, who was acquired by the Red Sox from the Minnesota Twins in August, has proven to be a key contributor for the PawSox. Valencia hit .306/.359/.429 with a home run and eight RBI in 13 games down the stretch and has contributed key hits in the playoffs.
Photo Credit: Danny Valencia by Kelly O'Connor