Game 2: Ducks at Revolution

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On Friday night, the Ducks took the field at Santander Stadium in York, Pennsylvania determined to end a two-game Opening Day skid and make a statement early on against a strong Revolution team. Under three hours later, they accomplished both. The Ducks earned their first Opening Day win since 2012 with a 5-2 victory over the Revs and used all three facets of the game to get a feel-good win on the road. It was exactly the way everyone wanted to start the season.

As it was during Spring Training, pitching took center stage. Specifically, starter John Brownell was front and center. It may have said April 24 on the calendar, but the right-hander looked like he was pitching in the playoffs on September 24. Brownell tossed seven innings of one-run ball, allowing just a broken bat single to right, an infield single and a walk while striking out four to earn the win. He retired each of the first 12 Revolution batters in order, taking a perfect game into the fifth. Despite allowing a walk to Andres Perez, he kept the no-hitter in tact until the sixth inning when allowing a base hit to Desmond Henry that drew a cheer from the crowd. It was vintage Brownell, and he was flat out dominant.

After the game, we caught up with the ace of the rotation:

After Brownell exited, Amalio Diaz came on to pitch the eighth up 5-0. However, he ran into some trouble, allowing a single and a walk and throwing a wild pitch to open the inning. He nearly got out of the jam though, using 90+ mile per hour fastballs to strike out back-to-back hitters. However, Brandon Boggs ground ball to the right side was a tough play for Blake Davis, and his throw to Diaz covering first was a bit low. Two runs scored on the play for York, but Diaz would retire the next batter to avoid further trouble. Ryan Kussmaul then came on to pitch the ninth and allowed a leadoff walk, but he responded to induce a pop out by Perez and then a game-ending 4-6-3 double play from Johan Limonta.

The pitching was undoubtedly solid, but the offense should not be discounted. The Ducks scored early in the game against Revolution starter Shawn Hill, getting a Lew Ford RBI groundout after opening the game with a single, a walk and a wild pitch. Three innings later, with Matt Neil now pitching, slugger Jon Griffin gave the Ducks their first homer of the year, a two-run shot the opposite way to right field. Cody Puckett followed that up in the sixth with a solo homer out to left-center that appeared to hit the carousel. Up 4-0 in the seventh, the Ducks tacked on an insurance run thanks to Ford’s sacrifice fly to right. It was an offense that produced frequently in the game, ran up Hill’s pitch count and kept York behind from the get-go.

Following the win, Jon Griffin spoke about his first homer and the overall performance:

CLICK HERE to listen to the highlights from Friday’s victory
CLICK HERE to view Friday’s box score

The Ducks and Revolution retake the field tonight following all of the Opening Day fanfare for the middle game of the three-game series. Long Island will get their first look of the season at Mark Rogers. The #2 starter in the Ducks rotation had a decent year with Lancaster in 2014, going 5-6 with a 4.17 ERA in 18 starts. The right-hander made two starts against the Revs and struggled, taking the loss in both and allowing 11 runs (eight earned) in seven innings. However, Rogers’ team got the last laugh when they went on to win the Atlantic League championship. Rogers is a former Major Leaguer, having spent two seasons with the Brewers where he went 3-1 with a 3.49 ERA and 41 strikeouts in 39 innings.

He’ll be opposed by another former big leaguer in Anthony Lerew. The righty played three seasons with the Braves and two with the Royals, but he was 1-7 with a 7.48 ERA in 20 games (11 starts). Last year, he began the year with the Revolution, going 1-1 with a 2.25 ERA and 24 strikeouts in five starts. He was signed by the Angels in May and played the rest of the season with Triple-A Salt Lake. He struggled there though, compiling a 4-6 record with a 6.75 ERA in 22 games (14 starts). Lerew went on to pitch this winter with Navegantes del Magallanes and was 2-2 with a 4.75 ERA. He was teammates there with Ford and Diaz of the Ducks as well as Revolution southpaw Rommie Lewis. Lerew did not face the Ducks in 2014.

Here are tonight’s game notes:

Ducks vs. Revolution: Tonight’s game marks the 157th all-time meeting between the Ducks and Revolution. The all-time series is currently tied at 78, while the Revolution have a 46-32 edge at Santander Stadium. It also marks the second of 16 games between the two in 2015. Long Island currently leads the season series by a 1-0 margin.

Opening Night Win: The Ducks improved to 11-5 all-time in season openers on Friday with their 5-2 win. In addition, the team won its first Opening Day game since April 26, 2012 when they defeated the Somerset Patriots by a 9-4 score. Including 2015, the Ducks have begun each of the past five seasons on the road and are 3-2 in those games. Friday was the first time the Ducks and Revolution played each other to begin the season.

What Can Brown-ell Do For You? John Brownell made his second straight Opening Day start on Friday night. He also was the team’s starter in their 2014 opener and took a no-decision at Somerset. Brownell has now allowed just two runs in 13 innings when starting on Opening Day (1.38 ERA) and has given up just six hits and one walk while striking out nine batters.

Powering Up Early: Jon Griffin (two-run) and Cody Puckett (solo) hit the Ducks’ first two home runs of the 2015 season on Friday.  Long Island’s first homer last season did not come until the team’s fourth game when Lew Ford hit a three-run home run at Southern Maryland. Cody Puckett’s first longball didn’t come until the team’s 23rd game (May 20 vs. Southern Maryland).

RBI Machine: Lew Ford drove in two runs on Friday. In 2014, Ford was third on the Ducks with 12 two-RBI games. However, he was second in the team in multi-RBI games with 20, trailing only Adam Bailey, who had 23. The former big leaguer finished the 2014 season second in the Atlantic League with 95 RBI, just two behind York’s Chad Tracy (97).

On the Air: Tonight’s game will be broadcast with live streaming audio on the Ducks’ flagship radio station, 103.9-FM LI News Radio. Fans can follow all the action on their radio dial or online by CLICKING HERE. Michael Polak will call the play-by-play. The broadcast is slated to begin at 6:15, barring the Islanders playoff game going into overtime. Should that be the case, LI News Radio will join our game in progress. Fans can also follow a pitch-by-pitch account of the game via Pointstreak’s GameLive application by CLICKING HERE.

Finally, here are tonight’s starting lineups:

Ducks
#44 Bryan Sabatella – RF
#25 Erik Komatsu – LF
#20 Lew Ford – CF
#26 Jose Morales – C
#2   Cody Puckett – 3B
#33 Jon Griffin – 1B
#22 Blake Davis – 2B
#29 Evan Crawford – DH
#12 Dan Lyons – SS

#37 Mark Rogers – RHP

Revolution
#33 Brandon Boggs – CF
#21 Wilson Valdez – SS
#4   Eric Patterson – 2B
#7   Andres Perez – 1B
#14 Johan Limonta – DH
#37 Bryan Pounds – 3B
#31 Brandon Jones – LF
#6   Luis De La Cruz – C
#1   Desmond Henry – RF

#18 Anthony Lerew – RHP

Keep it here for updates throughout the evening as the Ducks look to open the season with back-to-back wins at Santander Stadium. You can also follow the Ducks on Twitter (@LIDucks) for updates all year long!

UPDATE (6:05): Tonight’s game broadcast on LI News Radio will begin following the conclusion of the Islanders postgame show. We’ll have all the action for you on 103.9-FM on your radio dial and online right HERE.

UPDATE (6:40): We’re underway in York. Revolution make two nice defensive plays to rob hits from Erik Komatsu and Lew Ford in a 1-2-3 first inning.

UPDATE (6:50): END 1: Mark Rogers tosses a scoreless first inning, working around a one-out single and a two-out walk!

UPDATE (6:57): TOP 2: Jon Griffin picks up his third RBI of the season with a base hit to center field that scores Cody Puckett!

UPDATE (7:01): We are now broadcasting live on LI News Radio! Tune in now on your radio dial at 103.9 FM or online at LINewsRadio.com to follow along! Ducks lead 1-0 after two innings!

UPDATE (7:38): BOT 4: After a dropped third strike on Bryan Pounds that keeps the inning alive, Brandon Jones hits a three-run homer. Revs in front 3-1.

UPDATE (8:09): END 6: After five innings of three-run ball from Mark Rogers, Tommy Organ comes in to pitch a scoreless sixth inning. York still ahead 3-1.

UPDATE (8:26): END 7: Long Island native Bruce Kern strikes out the side in his Ducks debut! We head to the eighth with the Ducks looking to rally.

UPDATE (8:54): FINAL: Revolution hang on for a 3-1 victory to even up the series. Rubber game of the set will take place Sunday at 5:00.

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Posted on April 25, 2015, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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