Blue Crabs down York to take series
Clinch series with second straight win
Just 24 hours after delivering a 5-4 walk-off victory over York, the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs had another huge performance on Wednesday night in the second of a three-game series.
Behind solid pitching from starter Brian Grening and timely offense, the Blue Crabs picked up a 3-1 win over the Revolution to clinch the series win.
Southern Maryland (24-21 overall) was 1 1/2 games back of Lancaster (26-20) for the top spot in the Atlantic League’s Freedom Division first-half standings entering Thursday’s series finale.
The Blue Crabs kick off a sixgame road trip in Sugar Land (third-place 23-23, 3 games back of Lancaster) at 8:05 tonight.
Grening went to 3-1 on the season after allowing one run on nine hits with five strikeouts with two walks in 6 1/3 innings. His ERA dropped to 2.88, which was sixth in the Atlantic League after Wednesday’s action.
“Tonight was a good win for us,” Grening said. “They are a tough team to figure out, so you have to bring everything you have. The bullpen’s ability to come in and get the starters out of jams is the difference between a great and an average team. So credit to them.”
Blue Crabs relievers Jesse Beal, Zach Thornton and Cody Eppley combined to give up just two hits in the final 2 2/3 innings. Eppley got his 13th save of the season, which was second in the league through Wednesday, after retiring the side in order in the ninth.
“It is always good when you win a series in this league,” Blue Crabs manager John Harris said. “We are banged up right now and it is tough to rest guys, but we have to take it one game at a time. Grening was solid on the mound and our bullpen came in and shut the door. We were fortunate that [York] scored one run with 11 hits.”
The Blue Crabs got on the board in the second. With one out, Zach Cone was hit by a pitch, then, two batters later with two outs, Patrick Palmiero hit a triple to right field off of York starter Frank Gailey, scoring Cone for the first run of the game.
York, which left 11 runners on base on the night, loaded the bases in the top of the third with one out. But Grening was able to get out of trouble, forcing York catcher Isaias Tejeda to ground into a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning.
In the top of the sixth, the Revolution put two more on base after a Michael Burgess single and a Tejeda ground-rule double. With runners on second and third and nobody out, Grening got out a jam again, retiring the next three hitters in a row.
The Blue Crabs extended their lead in the bottom of the sixth. Luis Alen drove in Cory Vaughn on a two-out double to left and Palmeiro followed up with a single to left, scoring Alen.
The Revolution scored their lone run in the seventh.
Travis Witherspoon walked and advanced to third on a single from Alonzo Harris, then Beal came on for Grening. Harris stole second, then Angel Franco grounded out to shortstop, advancing both runners and Witherspoon scored on the play.
Thornton took the mound for the eighth and allowed two hits, but no runs as Carlos Triunfel flew out to right to end the inning. The Blue Crabs had two on in the bottom of the frame and did not score, but it didn’t matter as they held on for the win.
Tuesday night, Edwin Garcia led off the bottom of the ninth with a single and Michael Snyder followed with a walk-off double to give the Blue Crabs the win.
Garcia finished 3 for 5 with an RBI and a run scored, while Vaughn had two hits, consisting of a two-run homer in the fifth and a triple in the seventh. Snyder’s game-winning double gave him two hits for the night.
Eppley got the win in relief, his first of the season. York put two on with one out in the top of the ninth versus Eppley, but the Blue Crabs closer got out of the jam by retiring the next two hitters to the end the frame.
Drew Hayes threw the first six innings for the Blue Crabs and struck out nine batters in a no-decision.
Blue Crabs center fielder Cory Vaughn swings at a pitch in Wednesday night’s 3-1 win over the York Revolution at Regency Furniture Stadium in Waldorf.
The Southern Maryland Blue Crabs celebrate after a 5-4 walk-off win over the York Revolution on Tuesday night in the first of a three-game series at Regency Furniture Stadium in Waldorf. Michael Snyder’s double scored Edwin Garcia with the game-winning run.