Just a week ago, York Revolution manager Andy Etchebarren said his starting pitching needed to step up if the Revs were to have any chance at postseason play.
Well, the starting rotation has responded quite nicely since then. Following an eight-inning, one-run performance from lefty Derrick Gordon in a win on Tuesday, right-hander Corey Thurman had a dominant outing on Wednesday.
The crafty veteran held Bridgeport scoreless for seven innings to help the Revs win the final game of their road trip, 5-1, at the Ballpark at Harbor Yard. The Revs (42-41 overall, 6-7 second half) finished the trip with a 4-2 record, and have won five of their last seven overall.
The win over Bridgeport (37-46, 6-7) comes at a good time for the Revs. With the Lancaster Barnstormers (52-30, 7-5) losing on Wednesday, York moved to within 11/2 games of Lancaster for first place in the Atlantic League Freedom Division second-half race. The Revs will return home Thursday for the first of a four-game set against Lancaster.
Thurman: Thurman (9-2) worked out of bases-loaded trouble in the first inning, and stranded six runners over the first three innings. From there, he was nearly unhittable, retiring 14 of the final 15 batters he faced, and allowing just four hits all afternoon. His nine wins tie him for the most victories in the league.
The Revs are now 14-3 in Thurman's 17 starts this season. Thurman now has 47 wins in a Revs' uniform, third-most in Atlantic League history.
With Thurman's performance, York's starting pitchers now have a combined 2.79 ERA over the last five games, allowing just nine earned runs in 29 innings.
Revs' reliever Adam Thomas surrendered the lone run to Bridgeport, allowing three hits in the eighth inning. Right-hander Ricardo Gomez closed it out in the ninth by stranding two runners and leaving the tying run on-deck in Brock Peterson, the league's home run leader.
It marked Gomez's fifth straight scoreless outing. The righty has allowed just one earned run and six hits in his last 19 innings, improving his ERA to 2.02.
Offense: York took an early 2-0 lead in the second inning. Outfielder Jeff Fiorentino, who extended his hitting streak to 10 games, scored the game's first run when he raced home on a tapper back to the mound by James Shanks, sliding under the tag of catcher Luis Rodriguez. Revs' catcher Salomon Manriquez then drove in the second run on a fielder's choice to plate Chris Nowak.
The Revs had chances to bust it open, stranding eight runners between the fifth and eighth innings. They went just 1-for-14 with runners in scoring position. York put the finishing touches on the victory in the top of the ninth with a leadoff solo homer to right by Brandon Haveman and a two-out, two-run single to left by Nowak.
Bridgeport starter Raymar Diaz (2-9) took the loss, despite allowing just two runs in 61/3 innings for his third quality start in his last four outings.
Next game: York will host Lancaster at 6:30 p.m. Thursday. The Revs are holding a "Christmas in July" promotion to benefit Toys for Tots. Fans who bring a new, un-wrapped toy for Toys for Tots will receive $3 off a field-box ticket. Toys may be brought in for donation to the ticket office in advance of the game.
-- Reach John Walk at firstname.lastname@example.org.