The York Revolution have struggled to hit the ball for much of the first half of the 2015 season.
The last thing it needed was a former Cy Young runner-up to take the mound against it.
After signing with the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs on Wednesday, Chien-Ming Wang, the American League Cy Young runner-up in 2006 with the New York Yankees, dazzled in his Atlantic League debut on Thursday night. He shut down the York bats, tossing 8 2/3 innings, as the Revs fell 3-2 to Southern Maryland at Regency Furniture Stadium.
Wang nearly threw a complete game, but with two outs in the top of the ninth, he surrendered a single to Telvin Nash, plating Nick Ferdinand and Yeicok Calderon to pull York to within 3-2 and chase Wang from the game.
With new life, Salvador Paniagua represented the go-ahead run at the plate, but struck out against reliever Erik Hamren on three pitches to end the game.
The loss sends the Revs to 21-39 in the first half, while Southern Maryland's magic number to clinch the first half Freedom Division title shrinks to only four.
York was doomed by one big inning by the Blue Crabs, who scored all three runs in the bottom of the fifth off of York starter Anthony Lerew.
Despite out-hitting Southern Maryland (34-25) 11-8, the Revs couldn't bring any runners home until the final inning against Wang.
Lerew exited the game after pitching 5 1/3 innings, giving up three runs, two earned, on seven hits, a walk and five strikeouts in the losing effort. For the second straight game, however, York's bullpen shut down the Blue Crab hitters, as Leyson Septimo, Edward Paredes and Beau Vaughan combined to only allow one base-runner over the final 2 2/3 innings.
Both Yeicok Calderon and Telvin Nash had big games at the plate for the Revs, each recording three hits in the game.
Wang's line finished as: 8 2/3 innings, 11 hits, two runs, both earned, on no walks and three strikeouts.
York will return home for a seven-game homestand, beginning on Friday night as it takes on the Bridgeport Bluefish in a three-game series. First pitch in that contest is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at Santander Stadium.