Game 118: Lancaster 3, York 0

After a night in which hits and runs came as frequently as overweight men to an all-you-can-eat buffet, the York Revolution offense was stifled.

Lancaster’s Ben Fritz fired six innings in a phenomenal performance and York was dealt a Sunday shutout, 3-0, at the hands of its Route 30 rival before 4,610 at Sovereign Bank Stadium. York had tied a season-high for runs (16) Saturday night and had 14 hits in the process. But this was a day for the Barnstormers to finally bounce back after losing eight of nine game.

Lancaster (21-27, 51-67) had surrendered 56 runs on 74 hits in the previous 34 innings entering the game, but those fortunes were turned around quickly Sunday. Fritz allowed only three hits and the trio of Ricardo Gomez, Steve Kent and Ryan Cullen closed out the game without allowing a hit.

Aaron Rakers (9-8) was the tough-luck loser for the Revs. July’s Atlantic League Pitcher of the Month pitched eight innings and only allowed an Ian Bladergroen home run while striking out eight. Rakers (pictured) has not won since his Aug. 6 complete-game win over Newark.

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Game 117: York 16, Lancaster 4

It must be something about playing Lancaster.

Because York always seems to bring its offense in games against its Route 30 rival.

After Friday night’s game was postponed due to rain, York dominated the Barnstormers in a 16-4 thrashing Saturday night before an announced crowd of 6,110 at Sovereign Bank Stadium. The Revs maintained a 2 1/2-game lead in the Freedom Division by launching four homers for the second time in a week.

Matt Esquivel, Matt Padgett (pictured) and Matt Dryer all hit three-run homers in the game and Kennard Jones hit a solo shot for the Revs (27-20, 57-60). Jones finished 4-for-5, Chris Ashby was 2-for-3 with three RBIs and Jason Aspito picked up two RBIs to give him 30 for the month of August. It was all part of a 14-hit attack against Lancaster (20-27, 50-67) and the War of the Roses series is now tied, 7-7.

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Statement Time

As well as the York Revolution has played in the second half, the fact of the matter is the Revs lead in the Freedom Division is down to only two games.

The last two weeks was the time for this team to make a move in this mediocre division. It was the time to put Newark, Lancaster and Somerset in the rearview mirror.

And the Revs missed out on the opportunity.

York has played .500 ball over the last 12 days. Since the franchise-record, eight-game winning streak, York has not even won two games in a row. The Freedom Division leaders have alternated wins and losses over the last 12 games (6-6) while second-place Newark has caught fire. The Bears have won six straight.

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Game 116: York 2, Somerset 1

When Rolando Viera defected from Cuba, he was one of the most sought after players in Major League Baseball’s draft.

The Boston Red Sox selected him in the seventh round without even seeing him pitch. The Sox, like many other teams, considered it a worthwhile gamble.

Seven years later, Viera is not rubbing elbows with Daisuke Matsuzaka or Josh Beckett. He’s not even in the majors. Viera is pitching for the York Revolution of the independent Atlantic League.

But despite his fall from star status, he’s still showing flashes of why he was so highly regarded years ago.

Viera fired eight innings and only allowed two hits in the Revolution’s 2-1 win over Somerset Thursday night at Commerce Bank Ballpark. The 35-year-old loaded the bases in the first inning but struck out Matt Hagen to end the threat. The strikeout started a stretch in which Viera — now 2-1 with a 1.30 ERA in five outings — retired 17 of 18 and he finished with eight strikeouts. The only run he allowed was unearned.

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Game 115: Somerset 5, York 2

For parts of three different seasons, Saul Solveson was a rock in the Somerset Patriots’ bullpen.

He never posted an ERA over 3.79 in any of his years in Bridgewater, N.J. And he only walked 53 in 111 appearances.

But Wednesday night he took the mound at Commerce Bank Ballpark wearing a different uniform — and with very different results.

Solveson, a career independent leaguer, was tagged for five earned runs in two innings of work and York dropped a 5-2 decision to Somerset before an announced crowd of 5,808. The Revs (25-20, 55-60) saw their lead in the Freedom Division shrink to just two games with the loss.

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Game 114: York 9, Somerset 6

After an electrifying six-hit game that included a walk-off homer on June 30, Kennard Jones had fallen on tough times.

Atlantic League pitchers learned his weaknesses. He was no longer the man who hit a robust .388 in 16 June games. York Revolution manager Chris Hoiles has even bumped Jones down to the bottom third of the Revs’ lineup lately

Then the power came back in a big way Tuesday night.

Jones came to the plate with a runner on in the eighth and launched a deep homer to dead center field that was the game-winning hit in the Revolution’s 9-6 win over Somerset at Commerce Bank Park. Jones entered the game with a .233 average in the Revs’ last 10 games.

York (25-19, 55-59) also homered three other times on the night and came within one long ball of matching its team season high. Matt Dryer hit a two-run jack during a four-run second inning for his 11th homer in his last 28 games. And Jason Aspito hit his team-leading 20th bomb, a solo shot, while Matt Esquivel also blasted a solo dinger. Aspito, Esquivel and Sandy Aracena each had three hits.

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“Lima Time” is always a good time

Jose Lima has made almost $25 million in 13 Major League seasons.

He has reached the pinnacle of his sport — winning 21 games for the Houston Astros in 1999 — and has hit rock bottom. There have been stops in Mexico, Korea and the Atlantic League all within the last year.

So why does a 35-year-old with Lima’s career success keep going?

For glory?

For another shot at big money?

For the opportunity to display one of his memorable explosions of emotion every fifth day?

No, no and no.

Lima, now 4-4 with Camden, is in love with baseball — the game that has given him so much yet has taken so much away — and he knows all he needs is another opportunity. Whether that will come or not is still in doubt. But here’s one thing that’s for certain — Lima is great to talk to about his life experiences. So that’s exactly what I did Sundy evening at Sovereign Bank Stadium.

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