Brian Grening led the way for a dominant team pitching effort as the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs upended the York Revolution, winning the opener of a three-game series 5-1 on Tuesday night at PeoplesBank Park.
The Revs (5-6, 45-36) fell to the Blue Crabs (5-7, 31-50) at home for the first time this season.
Grening (4-4) continued his mastery over York, this time as a starter with 6 2/3 scoreless innings. He scattered six hits and two walks while striking out seven.
Tony Pena (5-5) took the loss despite a quality start, allowing three runs on nine hits in six innings.
Southern Maryland forced the Revs to play from behind from the onset with a run in the top of the first. Bryant Nelson punched a one-out single, then Zach Wilson banged a double high off the left corner of the Arch Nemesis to send Nelson to third. Michael Snyder lifted one out to right to bring home the run on a sac fly to make it 1-0.
It would stay 1-0 until the top of the fifth when Wilson dropped a double down the left-field line and Snyder unleashed a towering home run across Arch Street to make it 3-0. The home run was Snyder’s 14th of the season, the most among active Atlantic Leaguers and one back of Telvin Nash’s overall league-high.
Gary Brown brought home another run in the eighth with an RBI fielder’s choice, and Gustavo Molina gave the game its final margin with a run-scoring single in the ninth.
The Revs had their chances in the third, fourth, fifth and seventh innings, putting two on with two out in each frame but coming up empty each time. Josh Wilson laced a ground ball down the third-base line in the fourth inning, but Nelson stabbed at it on one hop and waltzed to the third-base bag for the force. Joel Guzman bounced out to short as the potential tying run with two down in the seventh.
Andres Perez broke up the shutout in the eighth with a line drive solo home run to left center, his 62nd as a Rev and 94th in the Atlantic League. Kevin Rivers followed with a double, but former New Britain closer Craig Stem settled down to strike out Bryan Pounds, get Wilson to line out to center, and strike out Michael Rockett to end the threat.
Wilson paced the Blue Crab attack, going 3 for 4 with two doubles, two runs and a stolen base. Molina went 3 for 5 with an RBI, while Snyder drove in three Southern Maryland runs.
Travis Witherspoon went 3 for 5 with a stolen base, giving him 13 multi-hit games in his first 27 with York. Rivers also picked up two hits, and Salvador Paniagua stretched his hitting streak to six with a single in the seventh.
Notes: The Revs were held to just one run for the first time at home since June 9 when they lost 3-1 to Long Island. ... Pena has now lost five straight decisions after starting the season 5-0; he has not won a start since June 7. ... Jared Mitchell’s 10-game hitting streak came to a close after he went 0-for-3 with two walks. ... Micah Owings (3-3, 4.33) of York takes the hill against Southern Maryland’s Tim Sexton (2-4, 5.27) as the series continues on Wednesday night.