Game 110: York 10, Camden 3

Back in late June, Jose Enrique Cruz lived in a different world.

Outfielders would seemingly fall out of the sky to rob him of base hits down the line. Every hot smash went right at someone. As Cruz puts it, it’s not exactly easy to hit — especially off the bench — when it feels like the opposition has 45 guys out there in the field.

Well, Cruz is certainly living in a different world now.

The 27-year-old, slated to be a utility player for the York Revolution this season, moved into the starting lineup at the end of May and hasn’t looked back. The second baseman hit .389 for the month of July and has brought his average up to a respectable .283 after sitting at .220 on July 1.

The former College World Series star with Rice University also went 2-for-4 with four RBIs in York’s 10-3 win over Camden Thursday night before an announced crowd of 4,251 at Sovereign Bank Stadium. It was York’s eighth straight home win, which set a franchise record, and the Revs’ 11th win in 14 games.

“Last year, I played half the year with a broken hand and I didn’t even know about it,” Cruz said. “I broke my nose, I strained my oblique. Everything that could go wrong did go wrong. This year, at the end of May I got the opportunity (to play) and it has been wonderful.”

Cruz’s efforts from the No. 9 spot and an 11-hit attack for the Revs helped York move 3 1/2 games ahead of rival Lancaster in the Freedom Division.

York (23-17, 53-57) also got help from former major leaguer Damian Jackson to bounce back from a 16-2 loss Wednesday night at Southern Maryland. The Camden shortstop committed four errors in the first three innings Thursday to help stake York to a 7-1 lead.

That was more than enough for spot starter Wayne Franklin. The lefty took the turn of the injured Dave Gil and fired 6 2/3 innings to pick up his eighth win of the year. Franklin (two earned runs) scattered nine hits and said he’s well aware of York’s status in the race for the playoffs.

“We don’t have the biggest lead in the world (in the division), but everyone is getting the itch,” Franklin said. “Championships are championships no matter what. You don’t get that many opportunities.”

Keoni De Renne also played a big part in knocking off Camden (15-24, 55-54), which is already assured a playoff berth after winning the Liberty Division in the first half. De Renne went 3-for-4 with three RBIs out of the leadoff spot. Jason Aspito also knocked in two runs for York with a 2-for-4 performance.

“Honestly, I think we have a legitimate shot (at the playoffs),” Revolution manager Chris Hoiles said. “The starting rotation is very good, the bullpen is very well-rounded. Offensively, we can swing with anybody. … I think it’s a very well-rounded team that we have right now.”

Notes: Hoiles said Gil should return to the rotation for his next start. The right-hander has been dealing with biceps tendinitis. … York is still without Shea Hillenbrand, who returned home to Arizona last week to receive treatment for an injured hamstring. Hillenbrand has not been placed on the inactive or disabled list. … York will send Rolando Viera (1-0, 0.63 ERA) to the mound Friday night against Ryan Dittfurth (1-3, 5.97 ERA).


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