Game 87: York 12, Newark 8

The wait for the first grand slam of the season was a long one for the York Revolution. 

Eighty-seven games to be exact. 

But Chris Ashby made sure it was one to remember. 

After squandering a four-run lead in the sixth and a two-run advantage in the eighth, Ashby came to the plate with the bases loaded, one out and the Revs trailing by a run in the ninth. He responded by launching a long grand slam just inside the left-field foul pole at Bears and Eagles Riverfront Stadium that propelled the Revs to a thrilling 12-8 comeback win Tuesday night over Newark. 

Ashby, now on a 13-game hitting streak, finished with a Revolution season-high six RBIs and could’ve had more. He was denied another RBI on a single in the second when Kennard Jones was thrown out at home plate. But York (9-8, 39-48) battled back to get its first win of the year at Newark (1-4) and only its third win there all-time (3-11). 

Shea Hillenbrand was also a clutch performer for York. The former Major League All-Star extended his hitting streak to 20 games with a huge three-run homer in the seventh, his first in a Revs’ uniform. The bomb gave York a 7-5 lead, but Newark (6-11, 45-42) rallied for three runs in the eighth off Travis Phelps, who also picked up the win.

Corey Thurman served up four Newark homers in his six innings of work and allowed five earned runs but escaped with a no-decision. Matt Padgett also homered for the Revs, finishing a triple short of the cycle, and Jose Enrique Cruz had a crucial walk and a couple of hits serving for Keoni De Renne in the No. 2 spot. Cruz also worked a crucial walk in the ninth to get Ashby to the plate. 

York improved to 6-23 all-time against the Bears.

Player of the Game: Chris Ashby (York). Ashby had his team-leading 23rd multi-hit game and came within two RBIs of tying the Revs’ franchise best (Justin Singleton had eight in the home finale last year). He’s established himself as York’s best hitter in RBI situations and the only thing that’s keeping him from attracting the attention of scouts may be his age (33). But as his batting average continues to climb, that may not make a difference.

Notes: Ramon Castro, Keith Reed, Jose Herrera and Ruben Mateo all homered for Newark. … The Bears’ bullpen set down 13 straight after starter Carlos Mirabal had to leave the game in the first inning with an injury. … Phelps allowed Newark to rally in the eighth inning and while the move would be unconventional, I think manager Chris Hoiles should’ve gone to closer Nick McCurdy in this situation. The heart of the order is coming up — that’s where the game will be decided. Who cares if he gets a save? You want your best reliever facing Newark’s best hitters with the game on the line. … York is now 11-16 in the first games of series. … Hillenbrand (pictured) is two games shy of matching York’s all-time hitting streak, held by Rayner Bautista and Nate Espy. … Matt Dryer got a big pinch hit in the ninth hitting in place of Sam Rasario. That started the rally. … There was a bit of controversey with York at bat in the ninth. Kennard Jones lined a ball to Newark’s first baseman that appeared to be caught in fair territory. But umpire Mark Facto called the ball foul. The Bears would’ve had Dryer dead to rights in a run-down if the call had gone the other way.

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2 Responses

  1. I was at the game last night in Newark( live in NYC area) and man did I pick the right one to go to. A couple of observations….

    * Well, I’ll drink the Kool-Aid Jeff, this team has potential to make the playoffs. The pickups of Ashby and Jones give this team some legit speed at leadoff and clutch hitting in the middle of the order. Shea Hilllenbrand doesn’t hurt either.

    * Thurman looks like a totally different pitcher from the beginning of the season. It seems his rhythm is better, and his offspeed pitches were giving Newark batters fits all game long.

    * I believe the only qualification to be an umpire in this league is the ability to provide your own transportation. Jones was clearly called safe at the plate before he was called out, and Newark’s manager blew a gasket arguing balls and strikes. I was on 3rd base side so I couldn’t see if Jones ball in the 9th was fair or foul.

    * Newark wasn’t a bad place to see a game, and the city exceeded my expectations(which I admit were low). Go Tuesdays, when you get two tickets for the price of one. The stadium is a bandbox, only 390 to center.

    It was camp night at the stadium, and after Ashby hit his grand slam, there weren’t a lot of happy campers in the stadium. That’s it, pay me my Junior Dispatch dollar.

  2. Newark’s park is ridiculous. The Bears hit .317 there as a team.

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