Former Colorado Rockies manager Jim Tracy was in attendance at Santander Stadium on Monday evening.
Coincidentally, his son, Chad Tracy, decided to have his best game of the year for the York Revolution.
The first three-hit game of the season for the designated hitter went like this: an RBI double in the third inning to tie the score, an RBI double in the fifth inning to extend the lead to three runs and a two-run single in the seventh to make it a four-score game.
Revs' relievers Mike Wuertz and Rommie Lewis held the lead over the last two innings and York beat visiting Lancaster, 8-3, in front of 3,783 fans on Memorial Day to complete York's first five-game sweep in franchise history and take over the top spot in the Atlantic League Freedom Division, moving a game in front of the Barnstormers (18-13).
"We were winning some games early on, it felt like we were playing one-run games every night," Chad Tracy said. "We talked about it in the dugout. 'Let's win a game by three or four runs and make it easy on ourselves.'"
York (19-12) exploded for 13 hits in the win. The Revs had come in having won eight of the last 10 games despite batting just .223. They've made a living the last couple weeks on solid pitching and just enough offense. However, all but two Revs had a hit in Monday's win. Former big leaguer Wilson Valdez went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and infielder Ofilio Castro had a pair of hits.
With his mom and dad visiting York on Monday, Tracy went 3-for-4 with four RBIs and a run scored. Cut by the Baltimore Orioles earlier this year after competing in the club's minor league spring training, Tracy returned to York for the second season in a row and began the year batting .189 in the first 11 games. Since then, he's hitting .338 over the last 18 games.
"I had a spring training so I felt good going into the season and I was little anxious trying to do too much early on," Tracy said. "It's been good lately and hopefully it keeps going."
Martinez: Tracy's efforts overshadowed those of Revs' starting pitcher Jorge Martinez, who held the Barnstormers to two runs on two hits — one of them a two-run homer in the first inning — in 5.2 innings, his longest outing of the year.
His effort Monday wasn't pretty, though. Ten times the Cuban defector fell behind in the count, but got nine of those batters out. The right-hander threw about half (55) of his 94 pitches for strikes. His fastball only topped out at 89 mph, while Lancaster batters struggled to handle Martinez's slow-moving mix of curveballs, sliders and breaking balls. Still, Martinez (1-0) got the job done, picking up his first win of the year and improving his ERA to 4.32.
"I think he (Martinez) didn't have good fastball command today," Revs' manager Mark Mason said. "He was up and away. Then he was down and away. He has good movement, but it's kind of erratic. That was the difference. He made enough pitches get through."
York reliever Julio DePaula gave up a run in 1.1 innings. Still, York's bullpen has a 0.93 ERA over the last 12 games. Overall, York's team ERA is 2.25 over the last 11 games, with the surging Revs having won nine of those.
Next game: The Somerset Patriots come to town for a three-game series in York starting Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. Revs right-hander Corey Thurman (0-1, 6.05 ERA) will face righty Matt Langwell (2-2, 2.73 ERA).
— Reach John Walk at email@example.com.