(June 6, 2021 – Lancaster, PA): Nellie Rodriguez drilled a grand slam and drove in five runs as the York Revolution battled back from a nine-run hole late in the game, but fell to the Lancaster Barnstormers, 12-11 on Sunday afternoon at Clipper Magazine Stadium. The Revs drop the final two in the series and will continue their road trip to Southern Maryland on Tuesday after an off day on Monday.
For the third straight game, York scored first in the very first inning. For the first time in his Atlantic League career, Darian Sandford went yard to right field to open the scoring 1-0 on the first pitch of the game.
Lancaster answered with back-to-back-to-back home runs in their first inning. Alejandro de Aza and Melvin Mercedes started off the inning with base hits. LeDarious Clark then crushed his league lead-tying 5th home run to right center for three runs. Kelly Dugan and Blake Allemand followed with solo shots for the first three consecutive home run stretch for the Barnstormers since 2015 and the first against the Revs since 2011.
In the second, Lancaster scored five more on just two hits. The first three Barnstormers reached safely on an error and two walks. Revs starter Austin Steinfort hit Clark with a pitch to bring in de Aza from third. Dugan brought in two more with a line-drive single to center. RBI sac flies from Allemand and Devon Torrence scored the final two.
Down 10-1 in the third, York began their long crawl back with a leadoff single to right from Tyler Hill. Reaching third on a walk and fielder’s choice, Hill scored on an RBI fielder’s choice from Edwin Figuera. Following a ground ball single from reliever Isaac Sanchez, Rodriguez plated Figuera from second base on a base hit to right, accounting for the 500th RBI in his professional career and extending his season-opening hitting streak to 10 consecutive games.
The Barnstormers tacked on two more in the fifth. Torrence led off the frame with a base hit to right field. With one out, Mercedes hit a triple to right center field to score Torrence and scored himself on a fielding error in the Revs outfield on the same play.
Trailing by nine runs, York again took advantage of shaky outings from Lancaster’s bullpen. With one out in the seventh, Jamarcus Lang walked five consecutive batters. Hill scored on three straight passed balls for the first run of the seventh and York lefty Edward Paredes worked a bases-loaded walk to bring in Andrew Dundon. With the bases still loaded, Rodriguez smashed a grand slam to left off reliever Garrett Granitz to pull the Revs within three, 12-9.
The Revs came within one run, 12-11, in the eighth. Sandford and Figuera worked consecutive walks. Josh Vitters scored Sandford with a pinch-hit sac fly to left and Dotel plated Figuera with a sac fly to center for his fifth RBI of the season.
With Lancaster’s bullpen stretched past its limit, outfielder Blake Gailen was called upon to pitch for the third time in five days and picked up his first career save with a pair of strike outs and a pickoff of Sandford to end it.
Lancaster lefty Tommy Shirley (2-0) allowed three runs in six innings to earn the win, holding the Revs in check before the late-game chaos ensued. The Revs worked 13 walks with 12 of those coming in the final three innings against the Barnstormer bullpen.
York’s bullpen was solid in giving the Revs a chance, as five relievers combined to give up just two earned runs in seven innings.
Notes: The Revs have scored at least nine runs in five of the last six games and double digits in four straight (59 runs total). York’s 39 runs in the series in Lancaster fall one shy of a team record for a three-game series (40 vs. New Britain, July 26-28, 2019). The Revs drew 13 walks and have walked 13 or more times in three of the last four games; York’s 13 walks on Thursday at Gastonia set a new club record for a nine-inning game, a mark that would have been matched on Sunday if not setting a new record for walks in any game with 17 on Friday at Lancaster. Sandford scored three times, going over 200 runs scored in his Atlantic League career (201); his stolen base in the eighth inning was the 209th of his Atlantic League career, one shy of matching former Revs outfielder Chris Walker for fourth in league history. Sandford’s home run was his first since 2013 in the Frontier League. Rodriguez’ grand slam was the Revs’ second in four games as Carlos Franco parked one on Thursday night. Rodriguez’ five-RBI game is the Revs’ sixth performance of at least four RBI in the past week and their third of five or more in the last four games.
Up Next: After Monday’s off-day, RHP Jake Welch (0-0) makes his second start for York and second on the road, 6:35 PM at Southern Maryland on Tuesday night. Revs fans can catch the action live on SportsRadio 98.9 FM & 1350 WOYK, 989woyk.com, The New WOYK app, and the WOYK YouTube channel beginning at 6:15 p.m. with Darrell Henry on the call.