Game 45: Ducks vs Bluefish

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The Ferry Cup series made its return to Bethpage Ballpark Wednesday in the first of a three-game series between the Long Island Ducks and the Bridgeport Bluefish. Earlier this season, Long Island took two-of-three from the Bluefish at the Ballpark at Harbor Yard. However, last night’s ballgame belonged to Bluefish starter D.J. Mitchell. The righty worked seven strong innings, yielding just one run on five hits, no walks and a season-high nine strikeouts en route to a 3-1 Bridgeport victory.

The Bluefish were first on the scoreboard last night thanks to a lead-off, solo home run from Juan Martinez in the top of the third inning against Ducks starter Jared Lansford. Long Island responded with a run the next half-inning on a RBI single from Fehlandt Lentini, but it was all Bluefish from that point forward. Mitchell’s strong performance, combined with a two-run seventh inning for Bridgeport was enough to earn the Bluefish a tie with the Ducks in the season series.

CLICK HERE to read yesterday’s recap, hear postgame comments from Kevin Baez and Lansford, and listen to the audio highlights.

Both teams return to the Duck Pond tonight for the second of a three-game series. Long Island will throw the 2013 ALCS MVP John Brownell on the mound against Bridgeport southpaw Hunter Jones. Brownell is 4-3 with a 3.97 ERA in nine starts this year, with a league-leading 48 strikeouts against 20 walks in 59 innings of work. The righty has won three of his last four starts, including a complete game effort June 2 against the Lancaster Barnstormers. His counterpart, Jones, enters tonight’s ballgame with a 2-3 record, 3.99 ERA, 10 walks and 17 strikeouts in 47 and one-third innings on the year.

Here are tonight’s game notes:

Ducks vs. Bluefish: Tonight marks the fifth meeting of the season between the Ducks and Bluefish and the second of 10 games between the two on Long Island. The season series is currently tied at two. Long Island and Bridgeport have played 269 games against each other all-time, with the Bluefish holding a slim 136-133 advantage in the series. However, the Ducks have a 75-60 lead at Bethpage Ballpark. Both teams have played for the Ferry Cup since 2009, and the Ducks have won it in three of its five seasons (2009, 2011, 2013).

Lew Leads the Way: Despite seeing a nine-game hitting streak come to an end on Wednesday, Lew Ford continues to remain atop the Atlantic League leaderboard in several categories. The former big leaguer currently leads the league in batting average (.382), BRI (41), hits (66) and total bases (99), and his seven homers are two shy of the league lead. During the nine game hitting streak, Ford batted .472 (17-for-36) with one double, one homer, seven RBI, eight runs and four walks.

Ruiz Keeps Raking: With a single in the fourth inning on Wednesday, Randy Ruiz extended his hitting streak to 10 consecutive games. During the streak, he is batting .283 (13-for-46) with one triple, one homer, seven RBI and four runs scored. The former big leaguer has earned at least one hit in 18 of this 21 games as a Duck Lew Ford has the longest hitting streak by a Duck this year at 13 games.

Lentini Loves to Hit: With a RBI single in the third inning on Wednesday, Fehlandt Lentini extended his hitting streak to six consecutive games. During the six games, he is batting .320 (8-for-25) with one double, one homer, five RBI and five runs. Lentini previously had an eight-game hitting streak from May 22 to 30 and hit .447 (17-for-38) during that stretch.

Starter Success: Despite Wednesday’s loss, Jared Lansford turned in a quality start to continue a streak of strong starting pitching for the Ducks. In their last 1- games, Ducks starters are 5-2 with a 2.61 ERA. In 68 innings during that span, the starters have allowed just 22 runs (20 earned) on 58 hits, with 55 strikeouts to just 14 walks. Long Island has gone 6-4 in those games.

On the Air
: Live audio of tonight’s broadcast can be heard on the Ducks official YouTube channel by CLICKING HERE. Coverage begins at 6:20 p.m., with first pitch set for 6:35 p.m. Chris King will call the play-by-play.

Finally, here are tonight’s starting lineups:

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

#12  John Brownell – RHP

Bluefish
#7   James Simmons – CF
#27 Prentice Redman – DH
#15 Ramon Castro – 2B
#23 J.R. Towles – C
#33 Joe Mather – LF
#19 Luis Lopez – 3B
#20 Denny Almonte – RF
#34 Austin Gallagher – 1B
#5 Juan Martinez – SS

#28 Hunter Jones – LHP

Be sure to follow the blog all day long as the Ducks look to improve to five games over .500 on the year.

UPDATE (6:49): Bridgeport takes an early lead in the top of the first on a RBI fielders choice from Ramon Castro. 1-0 Bluefish.

UPDATE (7:30): DUCKS LEAD!! Cody Puckett with a bases loaded, three-run double in the third inning to get the Flock out in front 3-1!!

UPDATE (7:31): LEWWWW!! Lew Ford follows with a two-run homer to extend the lead to 5-1!! Ford now with a team-leading eight home runs on the year!

UPDATE (7:43): Joe Mather grounds into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play in the top of the fourth. Ducks still lead 5-1!

UPDATE (8:12): John Brownell has faced the minimum through the last five innings and has allowed just one run on three hits through six! Ducks lead 5-1!

UPDATE (8:56): LEWWWW!! Lew Ford with his second homer of the game, a two-run shot in the eighth, extends the Ducks lead to 7-1!! That is Ford’s ninth homer of the year, tying him with James Simmons (BRG), Cole Garner (LAN) & Brock Kjeldgaard (LAN) for the league-lead!! Ford also led the league in batting (.382) and RBI (41) entering the night. Tonight, Ford is 3-4 with two home runs and four runs batted in!

UPDATE (9:05): Jon Myers adds a RBI single later in the eighth to give the Flock an 8-1 lead! On to the ninth, with John Brownell looking for the complete game!

UPDATE (9:12): BALLGAME!!! Ducks defeat the Bluefish 8-1! Brownell with his second complete game of the year, & Ford w/ a two homer, four RBI performance!

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Posted on June 12, 2014, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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