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.

York (26-20, 56-60) got on the board in the second on an RBI double from Matt Padgett off Somerset starter Chris Buglovksy (six innings, one earned run). Then utility infielder Sam Rosario came up with a clutch, two-out RBI single in the seventh that plated Matt Esquivel and provided York with the game-winning run.

Somerset (20-25, 60-55) dropped to 5½ games behind the Revs in the Freedom Division and lost two of three in a home series with York for the second time in 10 days. The Revolution, which still holds a two-game lead over Newark, finished the season series with the first-half champion Patriots 9-11.

York returns home Friday night for the start of a three-game series with Lancaster. Corey Thurman (8-7, 4.77 ERA) will oppose Lancaster’s Jason Scobie (1-4, 3.91 ERA) in Game 1 of the series.

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One Response

  1. Rolando Viera is an excellent pitcher! He would be rubbing elbows in the major leagues if they would had given him a chance. His agent is the one that sued the MLB for Viera to be a free agent, he did not know what was going on since he had just come into the United States from Cuba and did not know much about anything except baseball. His career and all his dreams went down the drain due to that law suit. If they let A. Rod play after admitting he took steroids then Rolando Viera should be given the chance to play despite what his agent did against the MLB in the past.

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