The York Revolution and Southern Maryland Blue Crabs split their afternoon doubleheader at Regency Furniture Stadium on Sunday.
The Revs claimed a 9-6 win in eight innings in Game 1, before the Blue Crabs bounced back with a 4-2 victory in the second game. York remained 41/2 games back in the Atlantic League Freedom Division while still leading the wild-card race by seven games. The two teams will close out their four-game series in Waldorf on Monday evening before the road trip continues on to Camden.
The Revs used a three-run eighth to win the opener after seeing an early five-run lead evaporate.
Southern Maryland scored the first run of the day when Jeremy Owens homered to left on the first pitch in the bottom of the first. York answered back in a big way, scoring five times in the second. Chris Nowak spotted York a 2-1 lead in the top of the second with a home run to left-center, his 30th of the season. He became the first player in the Atlantic League to hit 30 home runs in a season since 2008, and also went deep in a club-record fourth consecutive game, his fifth homer on that stretch.
Scott Grimes later added a sacrifice fly and Joe Thurston ripped a two-run single to right, making it a 5-1 lead. The final three runs of the inning were all unearned.
Andres Perez led off the third inning with a homer to left-center, increasing the lead to 6-1. It was the 21st homer of the year for Perez, tied for the fifth most in a single season in club history.
The Crabs began their comeback in the bottom of the third, when Jesse Gutierrez homered to left, his 14th of the season, and fourth in his last five games against York.
Southern Maryland then scored four times in the bottom of the fifth to tie the game at 6-6. Revs starter Chris Cody had settled in to retire six consecutive hitters before the outburst, which was capped by Richard Mercado's three-run homer.
Both bullpens came up big to force extra innings. York reliever Stephen Penney totaled 12/3 scoreless innings, stranding runners at second and third in the sixth. Kris Regas and Adam Thomas combined on a scoreless seventh, with Thomas (7-2) recording an inning-ending double play to earn the win, adding to his club record for wins in a season by a reliever.
The Revs took back control in the eighth. Jeff Fiorentino led off the eighth with an infield hit and stole second, before taking third with two outs on a wild pitch. He then scored the go-ahead run on a Brandon Haveman infield single, putting the Revs on top 7-6. Reliever Kevin Hart then issued a walk and back-to-back hit by pitches, the second of which came with the bases loaded to Andres Perez, forcing in another run. Nowak added an infield single to score one more, giving him three RBIs on the day, and a league-leading 94 on the season, within 11 of tying the Revs' single-season record.
Ricardo Gomez issued a pair of leadoff walks in the bottom of the eighth, but retired the next three hitters for his 13th save, second most in a season in team history.
In Game 2, York stranded 10 runners. Liu Rodriguez and Scott Grimes had RBI singles.
The Revs will seek just their second series win all-time in Southern Maryland in Monday's four-game series finale at 7:05 p.m. Derrick Gordon (3-3, 3.99) faces Matthew Vasquez (9-7, 4.17).