ROCHESTER, N.Y. ‚?? Don‚??t unpack those suitcases yet.
The longest road trip in Triple-A history was within one out of coming to and end.
That is until Melky Mesa slammed a two run homer with two out in the bottom of the ninth to give the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees a dramatic 4-3 win over the Pawtucket Red Sox, before 2,028 at Frontier Field.
The teams will meet again here, Saturday (7 p.m.) with lefty Vidal Nuno set to face Paw Sox vet Nelson Figueroa.
Mesa slugged a 2-0 fastball from reliever Pedro Beato into the left field bullpen, scoring Ronnier Mustelier before him.
Mustelier had just singled in Kevin Russo to cut the deficit to 3-2.
It was just one of those nights.
The Yanks fell behind 2-0 in the top of the second, when Paw Sox hitters Bryce Brentz and Mike Rivera swatted consecutive pitches from O‚??Connor over the left field wall.
The first of those came with one away, and sent left fielder Mustelier to the fence.
When Rivera turned on O‚??Connor‚??s next offering, Mustelier didn‚??t bother to give chase.
The Yankees mustered a response in the bottom of the second, after a lead off walk by Luke Murton, followed by Melky Mesa‚??s single to left.
The opportunity was squandered when Buckner retired the next three Yankees in order.
O‚??Connor, who deserved a better fate, didn‚??t allow another hit before giving way in the seventh to reliever Manny Delcarmen.
The Yanks clawed back from a 3-0 deficit to make matters close.
Gustavo Molina set them on the comeback trail in the eighth, with a solo homer, which ended a string of 19 Yankee hitters having been retired.
It appeared meaningless at the time.
However, thanks to Mesa‚??s heroics, appearances were indeed deceiving.
NOTES: Although his arrival to Triple-A was a belated one, the presence of Murton has been a mutual blessing, to himself and to the club. Winding up his third full professional season, the 26 year old power hitting first baseman from Georgia Tech has made a steady climb through the Yankee system, having spent this season at Double-A Trenton (.246, 25 HR, 68 RBI). ‚??To have the opportunity to come up for the playoffs,‚?Ě said Murton, ‚??was very humbling. At the same time, it‚??s an honor to come up and fit in with these guys.‚?Ě ‚?Ľ Visiting the Yankee clubhouse was Cito Culver, New York‚??s top draft choice in 2010 and a native of nearby Irondequoit.
|Repko lf||4||1||2||0||Russo 3b||4||1||1||0|
|Thomas 2b||4||0||0||0||Joseph 2b||4||0||0||0|
|Linares dh||3||0||1||1||Mustelier lf||4||1||1||1|
|Valencia 3b||4||0||0||0||Murton 1b||3||0||0||0|
|LaRoche 1b||3||0||0||0||Mesa cf||4||1||2||2|
|Brentz rf||4||1||1||1||Garner rf||3||0||0||0|
|Rivera c||4||1||2||1||Molina c||3||1||1||1|
|Hee ss||4||0||0||0||Pena ss||3||0||0||0|
|C-Hsu cf||3||0||0||0||McDonald dh||3||0||0||0|
E ‚?? Pena (1), Garner (2) LOB ‚?? Pawtucket 5, Yankees 2 2B ‚?? Russo (1) 3B ‚?? Linares (1) HR ‚?? Brentz (2), Rivera (1), Molina (1), Mesa (1)
|Huntzinger (H, 1)||1.2||1||1||1||0||0|
|Pena (H, 1)||0.1||2||1||1||0||0|
|Beato (BS, 1) (L, 0-1||0.1||1||1||1||0||0|
|Igarashi (W, 1-0)||1.2||1||0||0||0||3|