After all the struggles they've been through, here are the York Revolution.
After a slow start to the season, mostly thanks to a slump at the plate in the first month, and after a search for quality starting pitching, the Revs have set themselves up nicely.
With its 6-1 victory over Sugar Land on Wednesday night in front of 2,629 fans at Sovereign Bank Stadium, York (27-26) has climbed back over .500 for the third time this season.
And the Revs will enter Friday's series opener at home against Lancaster (32-20) sitting 51/2 games back of the Barnstormers for first place in the Atlantic League's Freedom Division.
After winning just 10 games in its first 27 contests, York has won 17 of 26 games since then. But Lancaster has made it difficult for the Revs to gain any ground, with the Barnstormers having won 17 of their last 22 games to own the league's best record.
York has 17 games left in the first half to catch Lancaster. Seven of those contests are against Lancaster.
Both teams will enter this weekend's three-game series on a three-game winning streak. And after an off-day Thursday, York will come in Friday with an offense that has become potent as of late.
Sugar Land: York collected 10 hits in the victory over the Skeeters on Wednesday, notching the third straight game the Revs have collected double-digit hits. They closed out the four-game series against Sugar Land (22-31) by outscoring the Skeeters 29-3 in the final three games.
One of the hot bats in the lineup is that of third baseman Ramon Castro. The veteran infielder collected a double and two RBIs in Wednesday night's contest to set two club records. Castro passed Jason Aspito for the club record in RBIs (189) and Keoni De Renne for the club record in doubles (72).
"I want to make the playoffs. That's more important," Castro said afterward. "The records are another number. It's more important to win. I play hard and those are just numbers."
Like his team, Castro has turned it around at the plate after a poor start. He was hitting just .239 through May 9, but since then is batting .346. Having driven in 28 runs in the last 23 games, Castro's 42 RBIs on the season lead the league.
Solid pitching: Starting pitcher Omar Javier tossed 32/3 scoreless innings for York on Wednesday. Reliever Dumas Garcia (1-0) gave up the one run, a solo homer to Matt Hagen in the fifth inning, in 11/3 innings of work.
Relievers James Houser, Ricardo Gomez, Adam Thomas and R.J. Rodriguez closed out the game with four scoreless innings.
Revs' pitchers have now allowed 21 earned runs in their last 921/3 innings (2.05 ERA).
And York will have its two best pitchers on the mound (Chris Cody and Corey Thurman) in two of three games this weekend. Cody (4-5, 4.15 ERA) will start Friday, followed by lefty Matt Chico (0-1, 11.25) on Saturday and Thurman (6-1, 4.03) on Sunday.
Etchebarren update: The Revs will likely be without Andy Etchebarren managing in the dugout this weekend. Etchebarren, who turned 69 on Wednesday, is still recovering from back surgery he underwent on Tuesday.
Revs' pitching coach Mark Mason said the surgery ended up being more serious than originally thought, and Etchebarren will likely need this weekend yet to recover. Mason will continue to serve as the team's interim manager.
Roster move: The Revs signed left-handed reliever Wade Korpi on Wednesday.
Korpi, 26, comes to York after pitching for the Miami Marlins' Class AA Jackson club, where he posted a 5.32 ERA in 17 appearances.
- Reach John Walk at email@example.com.