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Last updated: February 16. 2013 9:56PM - 261 Views

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PAWTUCKET, R.I. – How bizarre was Monday's regular-season finale between the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees and the Pawtucket Red Sox?


This bizarre:


• PawSox infielder Jon Hee was the winning pitcher.


• Yankees catcher Ryan Baker was the losing pitcher.


• Each team used six pitchers in a game that lasted 3:28.


Pawtucket prevailed, 6-4, on J.C. Linares' two-run homer off Baker in the 12th inning of a game that stretched each team's bullpen to the limit.


In retrospect, the Yankees' season has been bizarre considering they've had to play all their games away from PNC Field which is undergoing renovations.


"It's hard to explain because when you hear about it you don't really understand the extent of what you really have to go through," Corban Joseph said of what's been the equivalent of a season-long road trip. "It's really confusing. Sometimes we don't remember if we're the home team or the away team. We get our uniforms mixed up.


"For the most part it's been a grind."


The grind will continue Wednesday when the Yankees play Games 1 and 2 of the Governors' Cup playoffs at McCoy Stadium before returning "home" to Rochester's Frontier Field for the remainder of the best-of-five semifinal series.


"That's another thing to add onto the year," Joseph said. "It's been tough. But for the most part we've gotten together and worked through it as a team."


Ironically, the Yankees have derived one benefit from playing 144 games away from home.


"We've spent every second of the day for six months together," Joseph said. "You get close to these guys. You understand their strengths. You play together with each other's strengths."


One of the Yankees' strengths has been their pitching. But when New York raided their staff, it forced manager Dave Miley to shuffle his rotation for the playoffs.


As a result, Matt O'Connor who was scheduled to start Game 4 was bumped up to Game 3 and was on a short pitching leash (i.e. three innings) Monday.


That was one reason why Miley had to reach deep into his bullpen to finish the game.


"I'm sure it went the same way today for (PawSox manager) Arnie (Beyeler)," Miley said. "That's why you had two position players pitching."


The Yankees led 2-1 entering the eighth, thanks to Darnell McDonald's solo homer in the fourth and Melky Mesa's scoring on a passed ball in the fifth.


Baker's two-run, pinch-hit double in the eighth appeared to give the Yankees a comfortable 4-1 lead.


"He hasn't played most of the year," Miley said. "He's pitched twice for us. I wanted him to get an at-bat because he hadn't one all year so that's why I used him."


Pawtucket tied it with a three-run outburst in ninth.


Singles by Ryan Dent, Jeremy Hazelbaker and Hee off Francisco Rondon produced one run, a wild pitch scored another and Danny Valencia's single off Preston Claiborne tied it.


Eventually Miley resorted to Baker and Linares blasted a shot over the elevated billboards in left field.


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