Melvin Mercedes stands on the edge of franchise history.
The Lancaster second baseman homered for the third straight night and hit safely for the 19th consecutive game, but it was not enough as the York Revolution used a barrage of extra base hits and a dominating start by Jorge Martinez to defeat the Barnstormers, 6-1, in a special Midnight Madness game at People’s Bank Park.
Mercedes connected off Martinez (8-4) on a drive to left center with one out in the sixth for the Barnstormers only run. It was Mercedes’ eighth homer of the season, matching the output of the first 10 years in his career. It kept a streak alive that began against the Staten Island Ferryhawks back on July 3.
Otherwise, Martinez was in control of the game. The right-hander worked seven innings, giving up four hits and one walk. He struck out nine to stretch his league-leading total to 106.
Lancaster managed one threat against the 37-year old Cuba native. That was in the fourth when Shawon Dunston, Jr. laid down a perfect bunt single and stole second. Mercedes walked, but Martinez coaxed a double play ground ball out of Andretty Cordero and retired Trayvon Robinson on a pop out to shortstop. Outside of the home run, the Barnstormers did not get another runner to scoring position until loading the bases against reliever Nick Howard with two outs in the ninth.
Meanwhile, York got to Cameron Gann (5-7) for five extra base hits in a span of two innings. Nellie Rodriguez opened the second with a home run to left center. Gann retired the next two before Yefri Perez singled into center. He stole second, and Lenin Rodriguez walked. J.C. Encarnacion then lined a triple past a diving try by Dunston in right center.
Carlos Franco opened the third with an opposite field homer. Two batters later, Nellie Rodriguez cleared the high left field wall to make it 5-0.
Gann left after three innings and 79 pitches. The bullpen allowed only one run in five innings of work as Melky Mesa doubled for the third time in the game to score Franco in the seventh.
Lancaster will send right-hander Erik Manoah (2-1) to the hill on Saturday night against lefty Austin Nicely (2-8). Fans may tune into the YouTube Channel at 6:25.
NOTES: The game began at 10:07 PM and ended at 1:06 AM…Cordero extended his own hitting streak to eight with a single in the sixth inning…Lancaster pitchers struck out 14…Dunston’s steal was his 22nd…The game attracted 1639.