The York Revolution got the bats going early and logged the first shutout victory of the season, blanking the New Britain Bees 5-0 in the series rubber match on Thursday afternoon in front of 3,025 fans on Baseball in Education Day at PeoplesBank Park. The Revs take two of three for their first series victory of the season, improving to 2-4 overall.
Revolution starter Matthew Grimes retired the first three batters he faced in order to start his afternoon.
For the first time all season, York scored the first run in a ballgame, doing so in the bottom of the first. J.P. Sportman hit a leadoff single off of Bees starter Zach Stewart to get things going. Henry Castillo came up next and smacked a double to right-center, scoring Sportman from first to give the Revs an early 1-0 lead.
The offense picked up right where it left off in the second inning. Welington Dotel stayed hot as he lined a single up to middle to give the Revolution a leadoff base runner for the second consecutive inning. Dotel stole second base to immediately move into scoring position. With one out, Justin Trapp singled to left, moving Dotel to third. Sportman stepped up next and lined a single to left-center of his own, plating Dotel and allowing Trapp to go first to third. Sportman stole second and came around to score along with Trapp on a two-run single to right-center from designated hitter Melky Mesa, pushing the lead to 4-0.
The quick start, partially ignited by the Revs’ leadoff man, was a welcome sight.
“It feels good,” commented Sportman. “I stuck to my plan and knew that if I kept barreling balls, good things would happen.”
The Revs scored at least one run for the third consecutive inning when Ryan Dent drove in Nate Coronado on a sacrifice fly in the third to make it 5-0.
Grimes continued his impressive outing into the fifth when he struck out Jared James to start the frame. The Bees threatened with two outs as they loaded the bases, but Grimes bounced back to retire Bijan Rademacher on a ground out to Castillo at second to retire the side.
Grimes (1-1) finished with a line of five innings pitched, seven hits, zero runs, and three strikeouts to earn his first win.
Ian Thomas was the first reliever out of the bullpen for the Revolution and continued his impressive start to the season by inducing four weak ground balls, three of which went for outs in a tidy sixth inning.
Robert Morey got the call for the seventh and was sharp, allowing just one hit while striking out two Bees.
Jose Ortega enjoyed his strongest outing of the young season, pitching a scoreless eighth while registering a punch out.
Josh Judy was called upon to preserve the shutout and navigated around a leadoff single to retire the next three men in order, closing out the 5-0 victory.
The series win ends the opening homestand on a very positive note.
“As a team we’re starting to get closer,” said Sportman of his club’s chemistry. “We got the cobwebs out the first few games against Long Island so hopefully we can bounce back against them this weekend and start a winning streak.”
Notes: Revs pitchers allowed just one walk and worked around 11 hits, the most in a shutout performance in franchise history. York stranded 11 Bees base runners, tying a club record in a shutout game. York starting pitchers hold a 3.03 ERA, having worked at least five innings while allowing three runs or fewer in five of the first six games. The Revs offense went 5-for-12 with runners in scoring position after entering the day just 6-for-37 through the first five games. The Revs are also 8-for-24 with runners in scoring position the last two games after starting the year 3-for-25. Thomas has now worked 3.1 perfect innings with the exception of a runner reaching on an error in Thursday’s game. Grimes has allowed just one earned run in 11.0 innings over his first two starts. Castillo (1-for-2, double) has now hit safely in all four starts and is 5-for-15 with four extra-base hits in those four games. Coronado saw his season-opening five-game hitting streak snapped; he opened 9-for-20 on the streak. Dent’s sac fly provided his team-leading sixth RBI. Dotel (2-for-3) enjoyed his third consecutive multi-hit game and is 6-for-11 over those three. Mesa (1-for-4) has hit safely in four straight. York righty Daniel Minor faces Long Island lefty Darin Downs in the Revs’ first road game of the season Friday at 6:35 p.m. at Bethpage Ballpark. Revs fans can catch the action live on SportsRadio 98.9 FM & 1350 WOYK, 989woyk.com, The New WOYK app, and WOYK on YouTube beginning at 6:15 p.m. with Darrell Henry on the call from Central Islip, NY.
Recap by Brett Pietrzak