It was worth the wait. After the effects of Hurricane Hanna pushed back Game 4 on Saturday between the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees and the Pawtucket Red Sox, the Yankees came away with a walk-off win Sunday to move on to the Governor’s Cup finals. A two-run homer from Shelley Duncan in the 10th inning broke a scoreless game to help the Yankees advance. Duncan may have delivered the game-winner, but the performance of the game came from Phil Hughes, who pitched eight shutout innings and gave up just four hits. Hughes also struck out 11 without recording a single walk–he threw 94 pitches, 75 for strikes. But the right-hander left the game with the score tied and was forced to settle for a no-decision while reliever Scott Strickland picked up the win.
The team was without Melky Cabrera, who rejoined the big league club in Seattle on Friday as a precaution after Bobby Abreu jammed his left wrist. Cabrera had struggled in the Majors this season, batting .242 with eight home runs and 36 RBIs. But he became a consistent part of the Triple-A offense since being optioned Aug. 15. Cabrera hit .333 from the plate in 15 games with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He will serve as a reserve outfielder for the big league Yankees as they make an improbable push for the playoffs.
But another Yankees affiliate has already worked its way into a championship series. Double-A Trenton Thunder moved into the Eastern League finals with a three-game sweep of the Portland Sea Dogs. The difference-maker in the final game came when the Thunder loaded the bases and Colin Curtis used patience at the plate to draw a walk and force in the winning run.