Game 19: Ducks vs. Bluefish

One week ago, two key members of the Ducks roster had very difficult series against the Bluefish in Bridgeport. Lew Ford picked up just one hit in 13 at-bats during the three-game set and totaled two RBI. John Brownell suffered his first loss of the year, as he was hit up for 10 hits and six runs and two walks in just five innings of work. My how the tables turned on Tuesday night at home.

Ford and Brownell led the way for the Ducks in their 5-2 series-opening win against the ‘Fish at Bethpage Ballpark. The two helped Long Island earn its first victory over the Bluefish this season and gave the Flock their fourth win in five games after dropping four in a row. Ford had his best game of the year, going 4-for-4 at the plate. He launched a three-run home run to left field in the third inning to get the scoring started and collected his fourth RBI in the fourth with a double to left-center. The former big leaguer had a chance to hit for the cycle in the seventh, and although he missed out on the triple that was needed, he finished his night with a second single. Ford hasn’t begun 2015 as red hot as he did in 2014, but he raised his batting average up to a season-high .310 with his performance on Tuesday. In addition, he lifted his average at home to an astounding .517 in eight games this year.

As for Brownell, the Ducks’ starting pitcher bounced back with a quality start on Tuesday night. He focused a lot more on keeping the ball down in the zone and finding more accuracy with his breaking ball. As a result the right-hander allowed just two runs over seven innings of work, limiting the Bluefish to six hits and one walk while striking out four. Although he didn’t hold his opponent scoreless like in his first two outings, Brownell looked much more like the ace that he has been since his first full year with the Ducks. His first two starts were so good, that his ERA actually elevated eight points from 2.25 to 2.33 for the season. Long Island needed both length and effectiveness from him to start the series, with the bullpen still somewhat thin, and Brownell delivered.

On an even brighter note, the Ducks’ offense bounced back in a big way after getting completely shut down by Bluefish starter Mike Antonini last Wednesday. In his first start against the Flock, he limited them to just three hits and one walk while striking out nine in seven innings of work. Last night, the Ducks battered the left-hander for five runs, nine hits and three walks over just five innings. In addition, only one Ducks batter struck out against him. Long Island did their homework after getting stifled a week ago, and they made a clear adjustment that led to greater success at the plate.

CLICK HERE to listen to highlights from Tuesday’s game
CLICK HERE to watch postgame comments from Kevin Baez, Ford and Brownell
CLICK HERE to view Tuesday’s box score

Just like on Tuesday night, Wednesday’s game will feature a rematch from a week ago. Ian Marshall will take the mound in the middle game of the series, looking to remain unbeaten on the season. He is 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA through three starts, though last week was his toughest outing thus far. The right-hander lasted just five innings, allowing four runs on six hits and a walk while striking out five. Marshall was given a 5-0 lead through the first two innings, but he struggled to keep the Bluefish off the scoreboard, giving up single runs in the second and third and two more in the fifth. Ultimately, his outing allowed Bridgeport to battle back, eventually tie the game and then win it in the 14th inning. Marshall is hoping to pitch like he did in his first home start on May 2 against Sugar Land when he allowed just one unearned run on three hits over six innings.

The Bluefish will counter with Scott Maine, who struggled in the early going against the Ducks as previously mentioned. He surrendered two runs in the first inning and three more in the second, combining to give up six hits and two walks in the process. However, he settled down after that yielding just two walks over his next three and two-thirds innings before being lifted in the sixth. Rather than fold and allow the Ducks to take over, he gave his team a chance to rally, which they eventually did. Maine is still looking for his first win, after taking a loss on May 1 and a no-decision on April 26. He is now 0-1 with a 4.69 ERA on the year and has given up 22 hits and eight walks while striking out 18 in 15 and one-third innings.

Here are tonight’s game notes:

Ducks vs. Bluefish: Tonight marks the 290th all-time meeting between the Ducks and Bluefish, the most for the Ducks against any other Atlantic League opponent. Bridgeport currently leads the series by a slim 146-143 margin, but the Ducks hold an 80-65 advantage at Bethpage Ballpark. Tonight is also the fifth of 27 scheduled games between the two teams in 2015. The Bluefish lead this year’s series 3-1. This season marks the seventh edition of the Ferry Cup Series, with the Ducks winning the Cup in four of the first six years.

Reegie’s Raking: Reegie Corona extended his hitting streak to 11 consecutive games with a single in the fifth inning on Tuesday. That’s the longest by a Duck this season and tied for the second-longest in the Atlantic League, just two games behind Sugar Land’s Dustin Martin. During the streak, he is batting .415 (17-for-41) with three doubles, two triples, three RBI, seven runs and one walk. The former Yankees prospect currently ranks second in the Atlantic League in batting average (.373) and ranks fourth in both on-base percentage (.407).

Homer Drought Snapped: Lew Ford’s three-run home run in the third inning on Tuesday was his second homer of the season and first at Bethpage Ballpark this year. It also snapped a streak of seven six consecutive games without a homer for the Ducks. Their last homer had been by Jon Griffin on May 5 at Bridgeport. The former big leaguer hit 15 home runs in 2014, seven of which came at home.

Ford’s on Fire: With four hits and four RBI on Tuesday, Ford became the first Duck with either a four-hit or four-RBI game this season. Last year, he led the Ducks with five four-hit games and five contests with four or more RBI. The 38-year-old now leads the team with five multi-RBI games this season and has seven multi-hit games, tied with Cody Puckett for the team lead. In addition, he has multiple hits in three consecutive games and five of his last 11 contests.

What Can Brown-ell Do For You? John Brownell earned his third win in four starts this season and second at home. In his two starts at Bethpage Ballpark, the right-hander has allowed just two runs in 15 innings of work (1.20 ERA), yielding 10 hits and three walks while striking out nine batters. In 2014, Brownell compiled a 7-1 record with a 3.46 ERA in 15 starts at the Duck Pond. In addition, he pitched to a 4-1 record with a 3.35 ERA in six starts against the Bluefish.

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

#44 Bryan Sabatella – RF
#28 Prentice Redman – LF
#20 Lew Ford – CF
#2   Cody Puckett – 3B
#33 Jon Griffin – 1B
#26 Jose Morales – C
#11 Reegie Corona – 2B
#22 Blake Davis – DH
#12 Dan Lyons – SS

#21 Ian Marshall – RHP

#5   Nick Van Stratten – CF
#22 Sean Burroughs – 3B
#19 Welington Dotel – RF
#32 Andres Rodriguez – 1B
#26 John Alonso – DH
#12 Ryan Babineau – C
#7   James Simmons – LF
#6   Luis An. Rodriguez – 2B
#2   Ildemaro Vargas – SS

#24 Scott Maine – LHP

Keep it here for updates throughout the course of the game, as the Ducks look to make it back-to-back wins over the Bluefish. You can also follow the Ducks on Twitter (@LIDucks) for updates all year long!

UPDATE (6:36): TOP 1: Ian Marshall kicks and deals and we are underway from the Duck Pond!

UPDATE (7:19): TOP 3: Sean Burroughs with a RBI single and the Bluefish take a 1-0 lead.

UPDATE (7:41): TOP 4: Luis An. Rodriguez lines a RBI single to left-center. 2-0 Bluefish.

UPDATE (7:49): BOT 4: Jose Morales gets the Ducks on the board! RBI single to right-center and it’s 2-1 Bluefish.

UPDATE (7:55): BOT 4: Dan Lyons draws the bases loaded walk! 2-2 ballgame!

UPDATE (8:29): TOP 6: Luis An. Rodriguez with another RBI single and it’s 3-2 Bridgeport.

UPDATE (8:36): TOP 6: Sean Burroughs with a bases loaded walk making it a 4-2 contest in favor of Bridgeport.

UPDATE (8:54): TOP 7: John Alonso’s RBI double makes it 5-2 Bluefish.

UPDATE (8:59): TOP 7: James Simmons with the RBI single. 6-2 Bridgeport.

UPDATE (9:12): BOT 7: Lew Ford goes deep! His seventh hit in two nights, and his second homer of the series! 6-3 game.

UPDATE (9:50): FINAL: The Ducks fall 7-3 to the Bluefish.


Posted on May 13, 2015, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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