Before the start of the season, York Revolution manager Andy Etchebarren said left-hander Ryan Feierabend may only need four or five starts before Major League clubs come calling for his services.
However, the lefty didn't live up to Etchebarren's billing in his first outing of the year on April 27 at Sugar Land (Texas). He surrendered five runs on eight hits in just 42/3 innings of work that night.
Ever since then, though, Feierabend has shown exactly why he is a former big league pitcher. In his fourth start of the season on Sunday evening at Sovereign Bank Stadium, he held the Somerset Patriots to one run on five hits in 62/3 innings. His efforts helped the Revs cap off a three-game sweep of the Patriots with a 4-1 victory.
Feierabend's start is the longest for any Revolution starter this season. He improved to 2-1 and has now given up just two earned runs in his last three starts (172/3 combined innings). And according to Revs' catcher Travis Scott, the impressive thing about Feierabend on Sunday is that he didn't even have his "best stuff."
"He was flying open a lot and yanking a few fastballs," Scott said. "It's a pretty good sign when you can get through almost seven innings on one-run ball without your best stuff against a pretty good offensive team."
Like Feierabend, the Revs' offense has also turned things around after a rough start. After winning just three of their first 13 games, York (6-10) has now won three in a row for the first time this season. The Revs have scored 63 runs in their last 10 games (6.3 runs per game) after beginning the year with just nine runs in their first six games.
By defeating Somerset (9-8), York stayed within 31/2 games of the Lancaster Barnstormers (10-7) for first place in the Atlantic League Freedom Division.
York's offensive output on Sunday (four runs on nine hits) came on a three-run homer from Scott in the third inning and an RBI single from third baseman Ramon Castro (2-for-3, RBI, run) in the fourth inning. It marked Scott's first homer and Castro's first multi-hit game of the year.
Scott said he points to a players-only meeting before Friday's game as a possible turning point for York's most recent success.
"We recognized what we were doing wrong and took a look in the mirror and found out we needed something to change," Scott said. "I think each individual in this clubhouse did that and you could see it on the field. We were playing harder, especially this series."
Right-handed reliever Stephen Penney tossed a third of an inning in relief of Feierabend in the seventh. Reliever Adam Thomas tossed perfect eighth and ninth innings, throwing 12 of his 17 pitches for strikes.
Road trip: The Revs have off Monday before traveling to Southern Maryland on Tuesday for the first of a three-game series.
Tuesday will mark the first of a six-game road trip for York. Left-hander Chris Cody (0-3, 10.95 ERA) will get the start for the Revs against righty Ben Moore (1-1, 2.21 ERA).
Game notes: Revs' pitching coach Mark Mason said right-hander Shawn Hill (0-0, 36.00 ERA) will make his first start of the year on Thursday against Southern Maryland in place of right-hander Omar Javier (0-2, 11.70 ERA). ... Center fielder Scott Grimes (bone chips in right wrist) said he might return to the lineup soon after missing the last five games. ... Saturday's game attracted a crowd of 3,107 at Sovereign Bank Stadium.
-- Reach John Walk at 505-5406 or jwalk@york dispatch.com or follow on Twitter @YorkSportsGuy.