York, McKay play key roles for Renegades

Righty extends shutout streak; first-rounder belts clutch homer

All four of Mikey York's Minor League wins have come as a starter. (Nick Musial/Hudson Valley Renegades)

By Michael Peng / MiLB.com | August 8, 2017 1:03 AM ET

Class A Short Season Hudson Valley got more of the same Monday night from Mikey York and Brendan McKay made sure it didn't go to waste.

After York tossed five scoreless frames to extend his shutout streak to 30 innings, McKay delivered a game-tying homer in the ninth before the Renegades walked off with a 6-5 win in 10 frames over the Vermont Lake Monsters at Dutchess Stadium.

York allowed two hits and a walk while striking out four in his fifth straight start without a run. The long ball by McKay, Tampa Bay's No. 3 prospect, was his third of the season.

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"Any time we can get a win, it's a good day for me," said York, who allowed just one runner to reach second base.

After surrendering a one-out single to Ryan Gridley in the first inning, York worked around a leadoff single by Hunter Hargrove and a one-out walk to Will Toffey with three strikeouts in the second. 

"We were just attacking with the fastball, trying to get ahead early," the Las Vegas native said. "I struggled a little bit trying to get ahead with the fastball, didn't have the best command with it, but made do with the curveball, which was working pretty well."

The 2016 fifth-round pick retired nine of the final 10 batters faced, allowing only Anthony Churlin to reach when he was hit by a pitch with two outs in the fourth. 

"I pitched against [Vermont] earlier in the season and my catcher [Zacrey Law] had noticed that they are a very aggressive team, they like to swing the bat early, so I just tried to roll with that," York said. "I was attacking the zone, trying to make them make contact and trusting my defense behind me and just hoping for the best."

Video: Hudson Valley's York gets through five

The Community College of Southern Nevada product has not allowed a run since July 5. York (4-1) has yielded just four earned runs over 44 innings this season for an 0.82 ERA.

"I haven't noticed [the streak] at all honestly. It's just one of those things," York said. "But it's awesome. Things have been going my way. I've been getting some good plays behind me and guys getting me out of jams. It's been a really fun ride so far."

Back in the rotation after spending last season as a reliever across two levels, the 6-foot-2, 190-pound righty hopes the stretch is indicative of a full recovery from Tommy John surgery in 2015.

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"Last year, I had a little bit of discomfort because it was my first year back," York said. "I just wasn't used to all the throwing and so many innings. I was just a little tired and took it out to the mound with me."

After surrendering 13 earned runs over 9 1/3 innings in 2016, York underwent a supervised throwing program mapped out by the Rays during Spring Training and began to regain his form.

"In college, I was a little inconsistent with my mechanics," he said. "But once I started throwing bullpens this Spring Training and extended, we were really working on me staying back, staying over the rubber longer and ever since I've been doing that, I've been keeping the ball down and my stuff has been tighter. It's really helped me a lot commanding the zone."

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The Renegades allowed four runs in the ninth, but McKay -- MLB.com's No. 23 overall prospect -- came up with possibly his biggest hit as a professional when he took Wandisson Charles deep to right on a full count for a three-run homer that sent the game into extra innings.

"I was sitting in the bullpen and we had two runners on and two outs," York said. "We were all kind of going back and forth, saying how a base hit here really puts us in the game. The kid on the mound for the Lake Monsters was throwing just absolutely gas -- he was like 98 to 101 [mph] and I was like, 'I bet [McKay] is going to turn this around and clear it.' He ended up doing it and we just went nuts. That was awesome."

Video: Hudson Valley's McKay belts tying homer

While McKay's heroics didn't shock York, he remains in awe by the two-way player's abilities.

"Brendan is awesome. Whenever he comes up, everyone watches because he can leave the yard at any given moment," York said. "Watching him pitch is crazy too. I don't understand how he does both so well. Watching him throw and the whole time it would be 91, 92 and then the next pitch is 95 and you're just like, 'How do you do that?' But he's awesome. He's great on the field and off the field. He's the man."

Carl Chester's bases-loaded infield single with two outs in the 10th plated Matt Eureste with the winning run. Garrett Fulenchek (2-1) pitched a scoreless inning for Hudson Valley. 

Logan Farrar collected two doubles, a single and two RBIs for Vermont. 

Michael Peng is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @MichaelXPeng. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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