Game 35: Somerset 7, York 5

If you thought the York Revolution’s late-inning meltdown against Somerset Friday night was tough to swallow, Saturday’s loss stung even more.

Despite a Sovereign Bank Stadium record five-run first inning, Somerset rallied. And rallied. And rallied some more to clinch a 7-5 win over the Revs in front of an announced crowd of 4.999. Somerset scored once in the fourth (Matt Hagen RBI single), twice in the fifth (Gera Alvarez two-run homer), twice in the seventh (Michael Ryan RBI single/Josh Pressley RBI fielder’s choice) and once in the eighth (Ryan’s RBI double) to complete the comeback. And all the while, York blew chances to add to its lead.

Pinch hitter Matt Padgett singled to start the seventh but after Keoni De Renne walked, Padgett was picked off at second base by catcher Travis Anderson. That made a Kenny Perez (pictured) double into the left-center gap a non-run scoring hit — third base coach Sam Snider conservatively held De Renne at third — and Matt Dryer and Chris Ashby grounded out to end the threat.

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Game 34: Somerset 9, York 7

The stage was set for a grand start to a six-game homestand at Sovereign Bank Stadium.

The York Revolution’s offense showed up. The team battled against a perennial power (Somerset) throughout the ballgame. And a lead was turned over to the bullpen in the late innings — a unit that has been one of the Revs’ strengths all year.

It wasn’t meant to be.

Somerset scored a run in the ninth inning on Brandon Larson’s RBI single to tie the game and Jason Belcher’s two-run single propelled Somerset to a 9-7 win. York’s Matt Dryer led off the bottom of the ninth with an opposite-field single off closer Bret Prinz, but Matt Padgett followed with a fly out, Tyler Von Schell struck out and Luis Taveras grounded out to second base to end it.

York pounded out 15 hits in the game and stayed hot after a nice offensive series against Southern Maryland. In the third, York scored four runs — the inning was highlighted by Jake Daubert’s sacrifice fly, Jason Aspito’s RBI single and Dryer’s RBI double. And Keoni De Renne (pictured) then added a two-run homer in the fourth. Von Schell’s RBI single in the seventh gave York a 7-6 lead.

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Series 11: Somerset @ York

When you cover the Atlantic League for nearly two years — heck, make that two weeks — you hear the same nauseating mantra from executives over and over again.

“The No. 1 goal of the Atlantic League is to send players back to affiliated baseball.”

Well, I’m not denying that. Winning is a close second in this race. It always will be. And that’s all there is to it.

So with York sitting at 11-22 almost halfway through the Atlantic League’s first half, we already know about the club’s struggles in the win column. But here’s the thing: the Revs are struggling where it really counts.

No member of the Revs has been picked up by an affiliated organization yet — unless, of course, you count Steve Schmoll, who was a member of the Revolution roster for about the same amount of time Britney Spears’ first marriage lasted. Sure, you can make the case that multiple guys are deserving (I’ll get to that in a second), but at this point last year, York had already sent three men back to organized ball. Those guys were Tike Redman (Orioles), Ryan Baerlocher (Braves) and Adam Thomas (A’s).

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Game 33: York 7, Southern Maryland 4

First, the new guys got into the scoring act.

Then the guys who have been struggling for much of the 2008 season came through for the York Revolution.

The Revs hammered down a solid 7-4 win at Regency Furniture Stadium Thursday night and newcomers Chris Ashby and Jake Daubert got into the thick of things early. After Southern Maryland jumped on the Revolution early and got a one-run lead after the first, Ashby led off the second with a hustle double for York. Then after he went to third on a wild pitch, Matt Esquivel delivered an RBI groundout to give York (11-22) a 1-0 lead.

That’s when the fireworks started. Luis Taveras (pictured) launched a solo homer to left field and after Enrique Cruz singled and Keoni De Renne was hit by a pitch, Daubert plated Cruz with an RBI single. De Renne then came around to score on a wild pitch to make it 4-1.

In the following inning, Matt Padgett and Jason Aspito both hit opposite-field homers to extend the lead and Padgett scored another run later in the game on a wild pitch to cap the scoring for York. Aaron Myette made his first start after he was skipped in the rotation twice and was great through five innings. He struck out seven while only allowing three hits and two walks. The righty also set down seven in a row at one point and struck out the side in the fourth.

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Game 32: Southern Maryland 4, York 0

Editor’s Note: York acquired outfielder/first baseman Chris Ashby Wednesday. Read about Ashby here.

John Halama had never beaten the York Revolution in four career starts entering Wednesday night.

He made up for all of that history in just one outing.

Halama tossed a masterful 4-0 complete game shutout against the Revolution at Regency Furniture Stadium and struck out nine Revs’ hitters along the way. The former Baltimore Oriole extended his consecutive scoreless innings streak to 17 in the start and he improved to 4-0 on the Atlantic League season. Halama’s ERA also dropped to a minuscule 1.81.

Southern Maryland scored a run in the first after loading the bases with no outs against York’s Dave Gassner. After Gassner got a strikeout, Eric Crozier slammed an RBI fielder’s choice to shortstop that plated George Sandel. After Gassner set down nine in a row after that, Adam Shorsher (fourth) and Curtis Pride (fifth) added RBI singles to make the score 3-0. Kyle Nichols added an insurance run with an RBI single in the eighth.

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Revs add Ashby

As expected, York Revolution officials continue to tinker with the club’s roster in an effort to turn around what has been a disappointing first half.

York signed first baseman/outfielder Chris Ashby on Wednesday and the 33-year-old was immediately inserted into the starting lineup in left field for the Revs’ game at Southern Maryland. Ashby, a Pittsburgh native, is a longtime veteran of the minor leagues. He was originally drafted as a catcher by the New York Yankees in the 28th round of the 1992 amateur draft.

Ashby’s best year in the minors came all the way back in 1997 when he launched 24 home runs playing for the Norwich (Ct.) Navigators — formerly an affiliate of the Yankees. He has 103 home runs and 596 RBIs to go with a .265 career average in 1,304 minor league games. The rest of his career stats are here.

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More moves

It appears that the addition of Jake Daubert is only the start of many changes to come in the next few weeks for the York Revolution.

York made another roster move Tuesday — sending Landon Jacobsen to the Somerset Patriots. The Patriots had a need for a starting pitcher after ace Brandon Knight’s contract was purchased by the New York Mets’ Triple-A affiliate.

This transaction comes from a news release on the Atlantic League Web site. The release does not mention what the Revs will receive in exchange for Jacobsen, although this could be for the infamous “future considerations.” I hope to have more on this Wednesday.

Jacobsen, as you might recall, never appeared in a game for the Revs and was placed on the inactive list May 2. He was dealing with tendinitis in his throwing arm and it was clear he was not 100 percent after exerting so much energy in spring training with the Minnesota Twins. After being placed on the inactive list, he traveled home to be with his wife and family.

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