Pawtucket Red Sox Defeat Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees In International League Semifinals

Aug 18, 2012; Boston, MA, USA; Pawtucket Red Sox pitcher Chris Hernandez (35) pitches against the Buffalo Bisons at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-US PRESSWIRE

The Pawtucket Red Sox have advanced to the International League finals after taking out the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, three games to one.

You don't have to look very far for Pawtucket's hero, and it's probably the best-case scenario for the Red Sox that this man in particular came through for their Triple-A affiliate. With six hits in fourteen trips to the plate including two doubles and two homers, Bryce Brentz showed that his initial difficulties after a late-season promotion to Triple-A were not here to stay.

It was Brentz who took a 5-4 lead and extended it to 7-4 in the first game, turning a potentially tense save situation into an easy hold for Jose De La Torre. His two hits in the second game got the Sox on the board in the fifth and tied it up in the seventh, and while his solo shot would not prove enough to save the Sox from a three-run ninth off of Pedro Beato in game three, he was part of the seven-run explosion that sealed game four and the series for the Sox.

Also impressive for Pawtucket was Juan Carlos Linares. In fact, while his achievements don't quite contribute to the hero narrative as well as Brentz', going 5-for-12 with a triple, homer, and three walks, he was arguably the superior performer.

Meanwhile, Alex Wilson contributed three innings of perfect relief, striking out three, while Billy Buckner and Nelson Figueroa combined for 14.1 impressive innings of one-run ball, though the former's share came in a loss.

It's not the series win Sox fans were hoping for this year or any year, for that matter. But given a bad situation, it's the sort of small-scale victory that brightens an awful week in some small way--even more so with impressive performances from a few of the real prospects at the level.

The Paw Sox will move on to face the Charlotte Knights, the Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox in the International League finals.

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