Pawtucket wins International League title, 4-1


Ryan Lavarnway led the Pawtucket Red Sox to a best-of-five series victory over the Durham Bulls, the AAA affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays, to capture the International League (IL) title. Lavarnway, who was voted MVP of the IL series, was 10-for-22 in the IL finals, hitting a home run and two doubles to lead Pawtucket to a second Governors’ Cup trophy in three years.

The Cup finals series was a see-saw battle all the way. Each of the first three games was decided by one run. Rusney Castillo kept the PawSox alive in game four of the series with a game-tying single when the team was one strike away from elimination, to send the game to extra innings. In the tenth inning of that game left fielder Bryce Brentz threw out Cole Figueroa at the plate to prevent the winning run. In the thirteenth inning, Ivan Dejesus homered to give the Red Sox a hard fought victory.

In game five, Keith Couch was the hero, twirling 6.2 innings of one-hit shutout baseball. Couch earned the win in his AAA debut, not showing any rust considering he was pitching for the first time since August 27. Perhaps the team wanted to keep Couch sharp since he is one of the Red Sox invitees to the Arizona Fall League which starts the first week in October. The Red Sox will have to decide whether to keep Couch on the 40-man roster which would protect him from getting acquired by another major league team in November’s Rule 5 draft.

Pawtucket will play the winner of the Pacific Coast League finals on Tuesday, to decide the AAA championship. The day after, the Red Sox will likely promote PawSox who are on the 40-man roster to the Major League club.