This time of year can sometimes be tough on coaches and players.
With only a few weeks left in the regular season, managers know how vital wins can be in a playoff chase. Players, meanwhile, might be battling nagging injuries that come with a long season.
So, it must be nice for York Revolution manager Andy Etchebarren to sit back in his office chair with a smile on his face and ponder who he would pick as the team's MVP to this point.
After all, his second baseman, Andres Perez, and third baseman, Chris Nowak, are making a good cases for the honor.
With the Revs trailing Sugar Land by a run, 3-2, in the third inning Thursday night, Perez stepped to the plate with two runners on base and one out and sent a 2-0 pitch from Skeeters' starting pitcher Kelvin Villa over the wall in left-center.
Not to be outdone, Nowak followed with a solo shot to left-center field to give the Revs' back-to-back homers and a three-run lead, 6-3.
The effort led York to a 7-6 victory in the series finale over Sugar Land in front of 3,651 fans at Sovereign Bank Stadium. York (66-57 overall, 30-23 second half) split the four-game series with Sugar Land (56-68, 27-27) in its second-to-last regular-season home series. The Revs will play 13 of their final 17 regular-season games on the road.
Duo: Perez now has 20 homers on the season, while Nowak increased his Atlantic League-leading homer total to 28. It also marks the first time in Revs' history that two players have at least 20 homers in the same season.
Perez has a team-best .322 batting average, which ranks fourth among players in the league. Nowak, meanwhile, now has three homers in the last two games. Etchebarren said he wouldn't know who to pick for the team's best player.
"I'm not sure, either," he said. "You're not gonna get me to commit on that one."
Pitching: The Revs added their final run in the fourth inning on Brandon Haveman's RBI single that scored Salomon Manriquez.
York would need all the offense it could get after a poor pitching effort from starter Corey Thurman (12-3). The right-hander picked up the win despite surrendering five runs on nine hits in just five innings of work. He threw 63 of his 104 pitches for strikes.
A night after using six pitchers when reliever Wade Korpi made a spot start in York's 8-3 win Wednesday, Etchebarren again had to turn to his bullpen Thursday.
"The way (Thurman) was pitching I would have taken him out before then but I wanted to rest the bullpen," Etchebarren said.
Relievers Yunior Novoa, Stephen Penney and Adam Thomas combined to hold Sugar Land over the next three innings.
Revs' reliever R.J. Rodriguez gave up a run on two hits in the ninth inning, but worked out of a jam with two runners on base by striking out Matt Hagen for the final out to get his 12th save of the season.
The Revs remain 41/2 games back of Lancaster in the second-half race for the Freedom Division crown but moved six games up on Somerset in the wild-card chase.
Next game: York will now hit the road for a four-game set at Southern Maryland beginning Friday. Revs' left-hander Chris Waters (4-6, 4.93 ERA) will face righty Nick Green (8-9, 3.47) on Friday.
-- Reach John Walk at email@example.com.