CANTON, Ohio -- Thanks to Terry Farrar, home sweet home looks even a little bit sweeter to the Bowie Baysox today.
Farrar recorded his third complete game of the season last night, scattering seven hits as the Baysox topped the Canton-Akron Indians, 2-1, in Game 2 of the Double-A Eastern League semifinals at Thurman Munson Memorial Stadium.
The victory, only Bowie's second in 12 games at Canton, sends (( the best-of-five series back to Baltimore tied 1-1.
The first of three possible games is tonight at 7:05 at Memorial Stadium.
"I knew going in that, if we took one here, it would really be to our advantage," said Farrar, who struck out six and walked one.
The Baysox won seven of 10 regular-season meetings at home with Canton. Jose Mercedes (6-8, 4.78 ERA) is tonight's scheduled starter for Bowie, Paul Abbott (4-5, 4.06) for Canton.
"Winning a game is always important, but we were fortunate to have a chance to split and then go back home," Baysox manager Don Buford said.
Canton's lone run was unearned against Farrar, a 23-year-old left-hander.
The St. Louis native had not finished strong (1-5, 4.79 in his final seven starts), but has allowed only one earned run in his last 16 innings.
"I had a couple starts where we only scored one run and lost and I was starting to play too many mental games," said Farrar, 7-7, 3.49 in the regular season. "The problem was up here [his head]. Tonight, I tried not to worry so much about mechanics and just pitch."
Canton put two on with one out in the ninth, but Farrar induced two popups to end the game.
"We had hardly anybody in the pen because of last night [a 4-3 Canton win in 14 innings], but my arm has gotten stronger and I'm glad they showed confidence in me," Farrar said. "I like to finish what I start."
The Baysox went ahead 2-1 in the seventh without recording a hit.
Leadoff batter Jim Wawruck was walked by Indians reliever (and losing pitcher) Paul Romanoli. Wawruck stole second, then came home when Canton shortstop Rouglas Odor threw a potential dTC 3-6-3 double-play ball over the head of first baseman Romanoli covering first.
The Indians opened the scoring with a run in the second inning.
David Bell walked and went to second on Patrick Lennon's single to center. Hector Vargas then hit a grounder to Bowie shortstop Tim Holland, who tried to get Bell going to third. The throw from Holland sailed over the head of third baseman Edgar Alfonzo and Bell scored as Holland was charged with his 40th error of the season.
Farrar limited the Indians to one hit through the first four innings.
Bowie encountered similar luck against Canton starter Dave Mlicki early, stranding runners at second base in each of the first five innings. Mlicki has allowed only one earned run in 29 innings since his return from shoulder surgery.
The Baysox tied the score in the sixth without the benefit of a hit.
Alfonzo was hit by a pitch advanced on a Canton error and later scored on another Indians error. Kyle Washington grounded into what appeared to be an inning-ending double play, but Bo Ortiz slid hard into second and Canton's Miguel Flores threw the ball wide of first as Alfonzo scored.