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Romine, Pettitte lead Thunder to win
Lefty allows two runs over five frames, catcher plays hero
09/14/2010 11:40 PM ET
Andy Pettitte throws against Altoona in his second rehab start.
Andy Pettitte throws against Altoona in his second rehab start. (Jim McGregor/MiLB.com)
Andy Pettitte is done with his Minor League rehab, no doubt welcome news for the Altoona Curve.

Austin Romine hit a go-ahead RBI single and Pettitte pitched five strong innings in a rehab start as Double-A Trenton beat Altoona, 3-2, in 10 innings in Game 1 of the Eastern League Championship Series on Tuesday at Blair County Stadium.

Pettitte, the Yankees' All-Star working his way back from a groin strain, allowed two runs on six hits in his second Minor League start for the Thunder. He struck out four and walked one.

Romine, one of the Yankees' top catching prospects, came through in the 10th when he singled home Austin Krum with two outs for the go-ahead run.

"I was glad I pitched well enough for Trenton to have a possibility of pulling the game out," Pettitte told MLB.com.

Pettitte didn't factor into the decision, but was the storyline heading into the series. He got off to a rough start, though, when Altoona second baseman Chase d'Arnaud began the game with a leadoff homer. The Curve tagged Pettitte for another run in the third on a pair of hits, a wild pitch and a passed ball.

The 38-year-old, who faced 22 batters, finished strong and said he's ready to return to New York.

"I felt good after throwing 67 pitches (49 strikes) and 10 more in the bullpen," Pettitte said. "I was able to get my pitch count up and I'm ready to start in Baltimore Sunday."

Pettitte pitched out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the fifth. The Curve's Yung Chi Chen reached on a fielding error by Trenton's Justin Snyder, followed by d'Arnaud's single to left and Josh Harrison's bunt single.

The five-time World Series champion left-hander induced Jordy Mercer to ground into a double play before striking out Matt Hague.

"It was good to get into some trouble, then be able to get out of it," said Pettitte. "It doesn't matter what level it was at. You face those kinds of situations all the time."

Former Yankees first-round pick Andrew Brackman (1-0) shined in Pettitte's shadow, holding Altoona to one hit over five frames for the win. He struck out four and walked one.

"I didn't think my mechanics were as sharp early," Pettitte said. "The home run was a result of a cutter I left up. When you do that, at any level, that's what happens. I was ahead in the count and didn't bury it. After that, I thought I picked it up pretty good."

Trenton's Dan Brewer singled home Matt Cusick in the third to tie the game up. Altoona retook the lead in the bottom of the frame when Harrison singled home Chen with one out. Austin Krum's RBI double in the fifth for Trenton retied the game.

Curve starter Rudy Owens bounced back from a rough semifinals start, holding Trenton to a pair of runs on seven hits and two walks over five innings. Bryan Morris (0-1) allowed the go-ahead run in the 10th for the loss.

Danny Wild is an editor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.
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