In the Atlantic League Freedom Division standings, the York Revolution entered Monday's game against the rival Lancaster Barnstormers with a sizable lead.
On the Clipper Magazine Field, however, it was the Barnstormers who looked like a first-place club, while the Revs resembled a team a few games below .500. In the first installment of the PNC War of the Roses Battle for the Community Cup, it was all Lancaster (11-13), breaking open a 2-2 tie to dispatch York, 10-2.
After the Revs (15-10) tied the score at 2-2 in the top of the sixth, the Barnstormers scored the game's final eight runs to turn an otherwise close game into a blowout. York starter Kelvin De La Cruz came out to begin the bottom of the sixth, but instantly found himself in some trouble. He only retired one batter in the frame before giving way to Beau Vaughan. Vaughan didn't fare much better, allowing the inherited runner to score, along with two others, to give Lancaster a 5-2 lead after six.
That was only the beginning for the Barnstormers. They then tacked on four more runs in the bottom of the seventh, all coming off of Wes Alsup. Despite allowing just one hit in the inning, Alsup struggled to find the strike zone, walking five hitters in the frame. By the time he recorded the final out, it was 9-2 Lancaster.
The Barnstormers added one more run in the bottom of the eighth off of Michael Click to complete the scoring.
The Revs battled back after giving up single runs in the first and second innings to get the game level in the top of the sixth. Joel Guzman singled home Andres Perez to make it 2-1 and then a Keith Castillo sacrifice fly scored Telvin Nash, but that was all the offense York could muster on the night.
De La Cruz took the loss, going 5 1/3 innings, allowing three earned runs on nine hits, a walk and four strikeouts. The Revs' bullpen pitched just 2 2/3 innings, but allowed seven runs on seven hits and five walks and recorded just one strikeout.
With the loss, and the Sugar Land Skeeters off for the night, York's Freedom Division lead shrinks to just 1 1/2 games, while Lancaster moves to within 3 1/2 games of the Revs.
Game 2 of the series between the rivals will be on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. at Clipper Magazine Stadium.