DURHAM, N.C. — The Durham Bulls capitalized on two mistakes by the Pawtucket Red Sox to post a 2-1 win over them in Game 2 of the Governors’ Cup championship series at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
That win knots the best-of-five series at a game apiece as it shifts back to McCoy Stadium on Friday night at 7:05 p.m. Game 4 is Saturday at 6:05 p.m., and if a Game 5 is needed, it will be held on Sunday at 1:05 p.m.
The PawSox took a 1-0 lead in the third, as Dan Butler and Justin Henry started the inning with singles before Heiker Meneses sacrificed them to second and third and Jonathan Diaz drove in Butler with a groundout to shortstop.
The Bulls tied the score in their half of the sixth off PawSox knuckleballer Steven Wright, as Jason Bourgeois led off with a single, Vince Belnome walked, and Brandon Guyer (after failing to get a sacrifice bunt down on the first two pitches) bounced into a double play that sent Bourgeois to third.
The next batter, Shelley Duncan, then stepped to the plate, and Wright’s second pitch to him got away from Butler behind the plate and went to the backstop, allowing Bourgeois to score the tying run.
In the seventh, Wright retired the first batter on a groundout, but a routine grounder to shortstop by Fall River, Mass. native Craig Albernaz was thrown past first and out of play, putting the go-ahead run in scoring position with one out.
Kevin Kiermaier then followed with an RBI double to left-center to plate Albernaz to give Durham a 2-1 lead.
Wright left the game after the double, throwing 6 2/3 innings and allowing two unearned runs. He struck out six and walked three.
Chris Martin tossed 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief to keep the PawSox within just a run heading into the ninth.
Durham then called upon closer Kirby Yates, who was 20 of 23 in save chances in the regular season, for the ninth. After issuing a leadoff walk to Alex Hassan, Yates retired the next three batters to secure the win.