Durham starter Matt Andriese fired six strong innings while matching a career high with eight strikeouts as the Bulls overcame and early deficit to beat the Pawtucket Red Sox, 4-3, Thursday night before 3,395 fans at Durham Bulls Athletic Park in Game Three of the best-of-five Governor’s Cup Finals.
Durham now leads the series 2-1 and could seal the series with a win Friday night.
Pawtucket jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the 2nd as Ryan Lavarnway doubled and scored on a two-out RBI single by Corey Brown.
The PawSox added another run in the 3rd when Ivan De Jesus bounced into a double play with runners on the corners increasing their lead to 2-0.
Henry Owens did not allow a hit over his first two frames despite walking three batters, but he could not hold the lead in the 3rd.
Justin Christian led off the inning with a double and moved to third on a fielder’s choice. After a strikeout, Jeremy Moore single to right to score Christian to make it a 2-1 contest. Tim Beckham, the former first overall pick in the 2008 draft, doubled into the gap in right center field on an 0-2 pitch to plate a pair of runs to give the Bulls a 3-2 lead.
For Durham, they’ve scored seven 3rd inning runs in the series.
Owens would leave the game after the 4th allowing three runs, all earned, on three hits while walking three and striking out five. Of his 82 pitches, only 48 were strikes.
Reliever Noe Ramirez made his Triple-A debut and tossed a scoreless 5th before allowing a solo homer to Nick Franklin (2) to give Durham a two run lead, 4-2. Ramirez finished with three innings of one-run ball while striking out two.
Pawtucket rallied in the 9th as Lavarnway reached on a passed ball and scored from first on a double by Garin Cecchini to make the score 4-3. But a sharp grounder to first and a pop out to third stranded the tying run at third base leaving the PawSox a game away from elimination.
Game Four of the series is slated for a 7:05pm first pitch on Friday night. Pawtucket manager Kevin Boles will turn to left-hander Eddy Rodriguez in his Triple-A Debut Owens (NR), while the Bulls are slated to throw lefty Mike Montgomery (10-5, 4.29). Radio coverage on 920 AM (WHJJ) and also streaming online begins at 6:50 pm.
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