Game 64: Ducks vs Bluefish

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The Long Island Ducks began their final homestand of the first half Monday night at Bethpage Ballpark holding on to their slim hopes of taking the first half title in the Liberty Division. Entering the last night’s doubleheader, the magic number for the Somerset Patriots to clinch the Liberty Division. In addition, the Flock had been outscored 17-1 in the final two games of their four-game set with the York Revolution over the weekend. That changed Monday, specifically in game two, as the Ducks bat awoken.

In game one yesterday, Long Island fell to Bridgeport 4-3. Denny Almonte gave the Bluefish a 4-0 lead in the first inning on a grand slam off Ducks starter Rob Whitenack. That would provide for all of the run production for the ‘Fish. Two of the three hits Bridgeport tallied in the game came in the first inning, but the Ducks were never able to successfully complete the comeback. The Flock tallied three runs on nine hits, including putting the tying run in scoring position in the bottom of the seventh, but ultimately fell short.

Game two was a different story for Long Island, as the Ducks snapped a three-game losing streak with a 10-3 victory. For the second consecutive game, the Bluefish took an early lead in the first; this time on a three-run homer from J.R. Towles. Again, however, a home run in the first provided all of the runs for Bridgeport in the game. This time, the Ducks bats responded. Four hits from Fehlandt Lentini, along with three hits from Brendan Harris and Adam Bailey led Long Island to the win. Bailey’s three-run home run in the bottom of the first inning gave the Ducks a 4-3 lead – a lead the Ducks would not relinquish

CLICK HERE to view the recap, listen to the highlights and watch postgame comments from last night’s doubleheader.

Tonight, Shaun Garceau makes his 13th start of the season for Long Island. Garceau has won each of his last five starts, and eight of his last nine. The righty’s eight wins this season leads the Atlantic League, and has allowed more than three earned runs in a start just two times since May 15 (nine starts). Overall, the second-year Ducks is 8-1 with a 4.44 ERA and 60 strikeouts against 26 walks in 77 innings.

Garceau faces off against Bluefish righty and former big league Tomo Ohka tonight. Ohka is 2-6 this year with a 4.97 ERA, having not won since a complete game, three-hit shutout against the York Revolution on May 6. In a May 13 start against the Ducks, Ohka received a no-decision, yielding three runs (two earned) on eight hits in five and two-third innings. Ohka owns a career 51-68 record in the Majors with a 4.26 ERA.

Here are tonight’s game notes:

Ducks vs. Bluefish: Tonight marks the eighth meeting of the season between the Ducks and Bluefish and fifth of 10 games between the two on Long Island. The Ducks lead the series 4-3. Long Island and Bridgeport have played 272 games against each other all-time, with the Bluefish holding a slim 137-135 advantage. However, the Ducks have a 77-61 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).

Triple Crown Threat: Lew Ford is among the Atlantic League leaders in all three Triple Crown categories. The outfielder leads the league with 52 RBI, which are three more than Lancaster’s Cole Garner. His .353 batting average is 34 points behind York’s Justin Greene (.387) and his 11 homers are three behind Garner’s 14. Ford leads the league in runs (49) and games played (63) and is second in on-base percentage (.432), slugging percentage (.555), hits (84) and total bases (132).

Fehlandt’s on Fire: Fehlandt Lentini earned hits in both games on Monday and has now hit safely in 24 of his last 25 games. His four-hit performance in game two was his 24th multi-hit game of the year, tied with Ford for most on the Flock. Lentini also stole three bases and is now a perfect 28-for-28 on stolen base attempts this year. The Major League record for consecutive stolen bases without being caught is 50, set by Vince Coleman (St. Louis Cardinals) from September 18, 1988 to July 26, 1989. Lentini currently leads the Atlantic League in hits (89), doubles (21), stolen bases (28) and at-bats (265).

Double Dipping: With Monday’s doubleheader split, the Ducks are now 10-4 this season in doubleheader games. The Flock had swept their previous two doubleheaders and have three sweeps and four splits on the year. The last time the Ducks were swept in a twinbill was June 19, 2013 at Camden.

Oh, What A Relief It Is: The Ducks bullpen combined to pitch eight scoreless innings in Monday’s doubleheader. The combination of Josh Lansford, Jeremy Accardo, Eric Niesen, Brett Lorin and Jon Meloan allowed just three hits and three walks while striking out six. Niesen, who earned the win in game two, has now tossed 10 consecutive scoreless appearances dating back to June 3.

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

Finally, here are tonight’s game one lineups:

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

#28 Shaun Garceau – RHP

Bluefish
#7   James Simmons – CF
#27 Prentice Redman – RF
#15 Ramon Castro – 3B
#23 J.R. Towles – DH
#19 Luis Lopez – 1B
#20 Denny Almonte – LF
#9   Luis Rodriguez – C
#5   Juan Martinez – 2B
#2   Mike Richard – SS

#16 Tomo Ohka – RHP

Stay tuned here for updates throughout the game as the Ducks look widen their lead in the 2014 Ferry Cup Series.

UPDATE (7:13): We are underway at Bethpage Ballpark for Irish Night, and Shaun Garceau works a 1-2-3 top of the first inning for the Ducks.

UPDATE (7:20): DUCKS LEAD!!! Randy Ruiz with a two-run home run in the bottom of the first off Tomo Oha to take a 2-0 lead!!

UPDATE (8:03): RUIZ AGAIN!! Randy with his second homer of the game, this time a solo shot in the third, extends the Ducks lead to 3-0!

UPDATE (8:37): Randy Ruiz adds a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fifth inning to extend the lead to 4-0!

UPDATE (8:46): Bridgeport trims the Ducks lead to three with a Denny Almonte sacrifice fly in the top of the sixth.

UPDATE (9:28): Bridgeport takes the lead in the eighth inning with six runs, including a grand slam from Juan Martinez. 7-4 Bluefish.

UPDATE (9:47): The Bluefish add two runs in the top of the ninth to increase their lead to 9-4.

UPDATE (10:03): FINAL: Bluefish defeat the Ducks 9-4. Recap to follow shortly.

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Posted on July 1, 2014, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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