Game 46: Ducks vs. Bluefish

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The last nine games have played like a roller coaster for the Long Island Ducks. Ever since taking the first three games of a four-game set against the Lancaster Barnstormers at Bethpage Ballpark last week, the Ducks have exchanged wins and losses in each of their past nine. The Flock have stood at their high water mark of the year (five games over .500) five different times during this stretch, but have failed to win consecutive games each time. Long Island will look to end that streak tonight after defeating the Bridgeport Bluefish 8-1 Thursday night.

John Brownell and Lew Ford led the way for the Ducks in last night’s dominating win. Brownell, making his 10th start of the year, was excellent for Long Island. The 2013 Atlantic League Championship Series tossed his second complete game of the year, allowing one run on six hits, one walk and five strikeouts over nine innings. After allowing a run on two hits in the first inning, Brownell took over the ballgame. From the second inning on, “Brownie” allowed just one baserunner to advance in to scoring position (which came with two outs in the ninth). The righty only faced four batters over the minimum through the final eight innings of the ballgame.

Offensively, Ford highlighted the Ducks’ eight-run outburst. Two batters after Cody Puckett gave Long Island a 3-1 lead in the third on a three-run double, Ford belted his team-leading eighth home run of the year – a two-run shot – to left center, capping off a five-run inning. Later in the ballgame, Ford once again went yard with his second two-run home run of the night. The Ducks hitting coach/outfielder finished the night 3-for-4 with two home runs and four RBI.

CLICK HERE to read yesterday’s recap, hear postgame comments from Kevin Baez, John Brownell and Lew Ford, as well as listen to the audio highlights.

Long Island and Bridgeport will square off once again tonight at the Duck Pond for the finale of the three-game series. Bobby Blevins takes the hill for the Ducks against Bluefish righty Kanekoa Teixeira. Blevins enters tonight’s ballgame 3-1 on the year in nine starts (60 and one-third innings pitched). Blevins ranks second in the Atlantic League in strikeouts (45), behind teammate Brownell, along with seventh in the league in earned run average (3.28). Teixeira enters 3-1 this year in nine starts, and one spot higher than Blevins in league ERA (3.09). Tonight will mark the first time that Teixeira has gone against the Ducks in the 2014 regular season.

Here are tonight’s game notes:

Ducks vs. Bluefish: Tonight marks the sixth meeting of the season between the Ducks and Bluefish and third of 10 games between the two on Long Island. The Ducks lead the series 3-2. Long Island and Bridgeport have played 270 games against each other all-time, with the Bluefish holding a 136-134 advantage. However, the Ducks have a 76-60 lead at Bethpage Ballpark. Both teams have played for the Ferry Cup since 2009, with the Ducks winning it in three of its five seasons (2009, 2011, 2013).

Lew’s Longballs Lead Long Island: Lew Ford’s pair of two-run homers in Thursday’s game increased his season total to nine home runs. That moves him two longballs ahead of Adam Bailey for the most on the Ducks this year. It also marked the second time a Duck compiled a multi-homer game this year (Randy Ruiz, 2, May 28 at Lancaster). Ford is now tied for the Atlantic League lead in homers with James Simmons of Bridgeport along with Brock Kjeldgaard and Cole Garner of Lancaster. He also has the highest batting average (.390) and RBI total (45) in the Atlantic League this season.

Starter Success: On Thursday, John Brownell turned in his second complete game of the year and Long Island’s fourth to continue a streak of strong starting pitching for the Ducks. In their last 11 games, Ducks starters are 6-2 with a 2.42 ERA. In 78 innings during that span, the starters have allowed just 23 runs (21 earned) on 64 hits, with 60 strikeouts to just 15 walks.

Ruiz Keeps Raking: With two hits in Thursday’s game, Ruiz extended his hitting streak to 11 consecutive games. During the streak, he is batting .300 (15-for-50) with one triple, one homer, seven RBI and four runs scored. The former big leaguer has at least one hit in 19 of his 22 games as a Duck.

Lentini Loves to Hit: With a single in the third inning, Fehlandt Lentini extended his hitting streak to seven consecutive games. During the seven games, he is batting .310 (9-for-29) with one double, one homer, five RBI and six runs. Lentini previously had an eight-game hitting streak from May 22 to 30.

Approaching 1,000: Thursday’s victory was Long Island’s 25th of 2014. The Ducks have now totaled 997 regular season wins in franchise history, leaving them just three wins shy of the magical 1,000-win plateau. Of those 997 victories, 605 have come at Bethpage Ballpark.

On the Air: Live audio of tonight’s broadcast can be heard on the Ducks official YouTube channel by CLICKING HERE. The game will also be broadcast on Long Island’s home for news, traffic and weather, 103.9-FM LI News Radio. 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 – CF
#2   Cody Puckett – 2B
#20 Lew Ford – DH
#22 Joash Brodin – RF
#50 Randy Ruiz – 1B
#13 Adam Bailey – LF
#25 Brendan Harris – 3B
#23 Jan Vazquez – C
#12 Dan Lyons – SS

#18 Bobby Blevins – RHP

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

#31 Kanekoa Texeira – RHP

Keep it right here throughout the evening as the Ducks look to take two of three from Bridgeport for the second time this season.

UPDATE (7:36): DUCKS LEAD!! Adam Bailey with his eighth home run of the year, a two-run shot in the second, to give the Flock a 2-0 lead!

UPDATE (7:57): Nice recovery by Bobby Blevins in the third, as he strikes out former big leaguer Joe Mather to leave the bases loaded!

UPDATE (8:02): The skies have opened at Bethpage Ballpark, and we are currently in a rain delay. 3-2 count on Ford with one out, bases empty in third.

UPDATE (10:18): Tonight’s game has been postponed due to inclement weather. It will be made up as part of a single admission doubleheader on 6/30 at 6:00. Tickets for tonight’s (6/13) game can be exchanged at the box office for any 2014 regular season home game, subject to availability.

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Posted on June 13, 2014, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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