Game 23: Ducks vs. Blue Crabs

Slot Chair (3)
Make it three consecutive victories over the Blue Crabs this season and six straight wins dating back to the 2013 Liberty Division Championship Series. The Ducks continued their win-loss-win-loss trend on Monday night with a 5-3 victory in the opening game of a four-game set. Long Island has now traded wins and losses since last Saturday at Lancaster, a span of nine games. They’ll try to break that trend and make it two consecutive wins this evening.

Last night, the story was right-hander Bobby Blevins. With a bullpen that combined to throw 10 and one-third innings in two days against the Riversharks, the Ducks needed some distance out of their starter and got just that. Blevins tossed eight innings against the Blue crabs, needing just 107 pitches to do so, and threw 75 of them for strikes. While Southern Maryland did collect 10 hits against the Briarcliff native, including back-to-back homers in the eighth by Craig Ziegler and Jose Julio-Ruiz, Blevins limited the damage and stranded seven runners on base. The righty is now 2-1 on the year, carries a 3.94 ERA and leads the Atlantic League with 27 strikeouts.

CLICK HERE to read a full game recap, complete with audio highlights and postgame interviews with manager Kevin Baez, Blevins and catcher Keith Castillo.

Today, the Ducks made some news with the signing of former Major Leaguer Randy Ruiz. The 36-year-old played one season with the Minnesota Twins in 2008 and two more with the Blue Jays in 2009 and 2010. In 68 career games, he batted .272 with 12 home runs and 25 RBI. Ruiz is a Bronx native who grew up just four miles from Yankee Stadium. However, he actually grew up a New York Mets fan since his father often got tickets to go to games at Shea Stadium. Ruiz keeps his loyalties to all blue New York teams (Mets, Rangers , Knicks and Giants). He will take the spot of Ryan Strieby, who was traded to the Camden Riversharks to complete the trade for catcher Jan Vazquez. Strieby batted just .206 in in 19 games this year with one home run and eight RBI. Ruiz is expected to fill his spot in the lineup with offensive pop.

On the mound tonight will be right-hander Shaun Garceau. He’ll look to earn his second consecutive win after turning in a strong start on Thursday in Bridgeport. The second-year Duck tossed seven innings of three-run ball against the Bluefish, allowing just six hits while striking out four. Garceau’s first start as a Duck came in Southern Maryland last year, and he tossed seven innings of one-run ball with five strikeouts in a win. Going up against Garceau will be Ryan Hinson of the Blue Crabs. The southpaw is 0-1 with a 4.29 ERA through four starts in 2014. His last time out, the 27-year-old took the loss against the Skeeters, allowing five runs (three earned) on six hits and six walks in four and one-third innings. Hinson has been extremely wild this year, walking 20 batters and striking out just 10 in 14 and two-thirds innings.

Here are tonight’s game notes:

Ducks vs. Blue Crabs: Today marks the fourth meeting of the year between the Ducks and Blue Crabs and the second of 10 meetings at Bethpage Ballpark in 2014. The Ducks lead the season series 3-0. Long Island and Southern Maryland have played 120 regular season games against each other all-time, with the Blue Crabs holding a 67-53 advantage in the series and a 33-31 edge in Central Islip.

Offensive Machine: Lew Ford extended his on-base streak to 15 consecutive games with an infield single in the third inning on Monday. That’s the longest on-base streak by a Duck this season and is tied for the longest in the Atlantic League in 2014. Chad Tracy of York also had a 15-game on-base streak from May 1 to 17. Ford has also now hit safely in seven consecutive games. for the second time this year (May 3-10). The former big leaguer is tied for the league lead in RBI (21) while ranking second in hits (32), total bases (49) and slugging percentage (.576), third in batting average (.376) and runs (20) and fourth in on-base percentage (.432).

Good Things Come in Pairs: Brendan Harris earned his first two runs batted in as a Duck with a two-run single in the third inning on Monday. The former big leaguer had a career-high 81 RBI in 2005 with New Orleans (AAA, Nationals), while his career-best in the Major Leagues was 59 in 2007 with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays…Keith Castillo earned his second multi-hit game of the season with two singles. The catcher’s previous two-hit game came on May 3 against York.

Game Over: Leo Rosales picked up his ninth save of the year on Monday night, which leads the Atlantic League. The next-highest total is six by Rommie Lewis of York. The former Major Leaguer has converted all nine of his save opportunities in 2014 and has a 1.58 ERA in 11 games. In 11.1 innings pitched, he has yielded just two runs on seven hits and six walks with 10 strikeouts.

Countdown to 6 Million: Monday’s crowd of 3,727 at Bethpage Ballpark increased the all-time attendance at the Duck Pond to 5,987,201, which is an Atlantic League record. Long Island is now just 12,799 fans away from reaching the magical 6 million fan mark.

On the Air: Tonight’s game will be broadcast live on the Ducks official YouTube channel, with live streaming video and audio available by CLICKING HERE. Chris King will call the play-by-play.

Finally, here are tonight’s starting lineups:

#24 Fehlandt Lentini – RF
#25 Brendan Harris – 3B
#20 Lew Ford – CF
#22 Joash Brodin – 1B
#50 Randy Ruiz  – DH
#2   Cody Puckett – 2B
#15 Jon Myers – LF
#27 Keith Castillo – C
#12 Dan Lyons – SS

#28 Shaun Garceau – RHP

Blue Crabs
#11 Brian Barton – LF
#1   Amadeo Zazueta – SS
#15 Cyle Hankerd – DH
#44 Craig Ziegler – 3B
#38 Jose Julio-Ruiz – 1B
#4   Dave Sappelt – CF
#7   Jared McDonald – 2B
#31 Allan de San Miguel – C
#20 Jermaine Mitchell – RF

#40 Ryan Hinson – LHP

We’ll be posting updates throughout the course of the evening, so keep refreshing for updates.

UPDATE (6:59): Newcomer Randy Ruiz with an RBI single in his first at bat to give the Ducks an early 1-0 lead in the first!

UPDATE (7:56): Three-run fourth for the Flock gives them a 4-0 lead! Cody Puckett clubs a two-run homer to left, and Fehlandt Lentini adds a RBI triple to center.

UPDATE (8:18): The Ducks add another run in the fifth as Lew Ford launches a mammoth solo homer to left! His fourth homer of 2014  makes it 5-0 Flock after five.

UPDATE (8:45): Garceau works out a runners on second and third, no out jam to keep the shutout in tact! 5-0 Flock at the seventh inning stretch!

UPDATE (9:15): BALLGAME!! Ducks toss second shutout of the season en route to a 5-0 victory! Garceau earns second win of the year! Recap to follow shortly!


Posted on May 20, 2014, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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