Game 129: York 5, Bridgeport 2

As Chris Hoiles made his way from the York Revolution clubhouse to the Sovereign Bank Stadium field prior to Thursday night’s game, he breathed in the cool September air.

He looked at the crowd of 3,903 filing into the stadium. He scanned the men in his dugout. And a thought that was never present at this time last year crept into the front of the Revolution manager’s brain.

These games mean something.

And Hoiles is enjoying the beauty of the Revs’ first meaningful playoff chase.

York moved another step toward the postseason Thursday night while using five different pitchers to stifle Bridgeport, 5-2, a night after the two teams collided in fisticuffs in an entertaining brawl. The win means the Revs (34-25, 64-65) have won four straight, took four of five in the series with Bridgeport (29-30, 62-67) and moved the club’s magic number down to eight.

The Revolution now embarks on a six-game road trip that could provide the opportunity to pop the bubbly and smell the roses. York is four games ahead of second-place Lancaster in the Freedom Division with 11 games to go.

“Losing that doubleheader to Long Island and the first one to these guys (Bridgeport), I think it may have been a little wakeup call,” Hoiles said of the Revs’ homestand. “(Before the game) We were talking about how awesome it is that these games mean something. It’s a great feeling. It’s fun to sit back and watch these guys play.”

The recently acquired Byron Batson made the start Thursday for York with Hoiles expecting him to go three or four innings. Batson (3 1/3 innings, two earned runs) did just that and reliever turned starter Dan Foli entered the game two days after pitching six innings to give the Revs a big contribution. Foli (6-7) didn’t allow a hit while striking out two in 2 2/3 innings.

“Hoiles talked to me and so did (pitching coach) Tippy (Martinez) and they gave me the possibility, ‘Hey, we might need you,’” Foli said. “Coming down to playoff time, it’s whatever helps the team win.”

The Bluefish left York kicking themselves for allowing the same old Achilles heal to defeat them — walks. The Bluefish walked 33 batters in the five-game series and easily lead the league with 587 free passes as a staff.

In contrast, York has not had any problems with control lately — or many problems at all. The Revs are clicking on all cylinders and have a chance to move back to .500 for the year Friday for the first time since May 5, when they were 5-5.

Said Hoiles: “We’ve gotten really good starting pitching, the relievers have been awesome, the hitting’s been great. It’s been great all the way around.”

Notes: Fan favorite Kaz Tanaka (pictured) was honored with a touching pre-game ceremony that included a video montage for his last game in a York uniform. Tanaka was also activated for the game and appeared as a pinch runner. … Kennard Jones was the only Rev to earn a suspension from Thursday’s brawl. He received one game and served the suspension Thursday, although Matt Esquivel and Matt Padgett were also fined for being ejected. … Jason Aspito went 3-for-4 with two RBIs to raise his Revolution single-season record for RBIs to 95.

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3 Responses

  1. Another note from Thursday’s game: Sandy Aracena gunned down Henry Mateo attempting to steal second base in the seventh from his knees. That had to be one of the most impressive throws of the season.

  2. I truly hope that if the Revs win the championship this year, they give something to Kaz (ring, t-shirt, frisbee, or whatever you win for winning this league)

  3. I agree Jeff! =)

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