(August 16, 2022 – York, Pa.): Lenin Rodriguez crushed a pair of home runs, drove in five, and threw out an attempting base stealer as the York Revolution held off handing away the Community Cup on Tuesday night with a 9-4 series opening victory over the Lancaster Barnstormers at PeoplesBank Park. The career offensive day from Rodriguez and a quality start from Austin Nicely shined through in the win, the 998th victory in Revolution history.
Coming off a 17-strikeout performance by the offense on Sunday, it was a slow start on Tuesday evening as Lancaster starter Gray Fenter struck out the side in the first inning and fanned two more in the second.
The Barnstormers struck first in the top of the third as leadoff man Melvin Mercedes hit a sacrifice fly to center field, scoring Jake Hoover who had led off the inning with a double for a 1-0 lead.
Rodriguez led off the bottom of the third inning by jumping on a first pitch fastball from Fenter, blasting it over the Arch Nemesis in left to tie the game at 1-1. After a JC Encarnacion double and a walk by Yefri Perez, both advanced on a double steal and Encarnacion eventually came in to score on a Nellie Rodriguez groundout, giving York a 2-1 lead.
York got a fourth inning rally started with one out when Connor Lien beat out an infield single and scored one batter later, on a Jack Kenley double to right-center. Lenin Rodriguez followed with another shot over the Nemesis, this time a two-run jack to put York ahead 5-1.
It was the first two-homer game of Rodriguez’ career, bringing his season total to a career-high seven, matching his career total coming into the season.
After reaching on a two-out throwing error by Hoover at shortstop, Perez advanced to second base as the ball sailed out of play. One batter later, Telvin Nash drove him in with a single to left, pushing York ahead 6-1.
After a 1-2-3 top of the fifth from Nicely, York plated three more in the bottom portion. After loading the bases on three walks with just one out against reliever Dominic DiSabatino, Lenin Rodriguez (3-for-4) came through again, this time poking a two-run single to the right side, giving York an 8-1 lead, and notching a career-high five RBI. Kenley scored one batter later, on an RBI fielder’s choice by Encarnacion making it 9-1.
Lancaster started to get to Nicely in the sixth, knocking four hits in a span of five batters including a two-run single from Jacob Barfield. That was all they could muster out of the rally thanks in part to left fielder Melky Mesa cutting down Barfield trying to stretch his single into a double. Nicely got through six innings, allowing just three runs for his eighth quality start of the year, exiting in line for his third win.
Kyle Zurak tossed his third scoreless seventh inning in as many appearances for York, working around a one-out walk.
Brett de Geus pitched the eighth, allowing a solo homer to left center by Andretty Cordero.
Jim Fuller struck out the side in the ninth to strand a pair, closing the 9-4 win.
Duke von Schamann will take the ball for York on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. as the Revs look to take the series. It is Motorsports Night and a PeoplesBank Kids Eat Free Wednesday. Tickets are on sale at YorkRevolution.com, (717) 801-HITS, and in-person at the Shipley Energy Ticket Office.
Notes: In addition to the 998th win all-time for the franchise, it was Mark Mason’s 595th win as Revolution manager. Encarnacion’s third inning double marked his sixth in the last six games; each of his last six hits have been doubles and eight of his last nine hits have gone for extra bases.