Game 56: Ducks vs. Bluefish

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One aspect of the Ducks’ game that has been evident most during their stretch of 18 win in 19 games has been the offense. Long Island leads the Atlantic League in several offensive categories, including batting average (.282), runs (275), hits (530), RBI (254), walks (177), on-base percentage (.349) and slugging percentage (.390). Those numbers were all aided on Saturday night when, despite a less-than-stellar start from Billy Buckner, the Ducks reeled off yet another victory. In the 12-6 win over the Bluefish, the Ducks amassed a season-high 18 hits and received contributions up and down the lineup.

Three of the biggest contributors for the Flock on Saturday were the bottom three hitters in their order. Jose Morales, Prentice Redman and Dan Lyons combined for nine hits in 15 at-bats along with two doubles, two home runs, five RBI and four runs scored. Morales led the Ducks with four RBI, all coming in Long Island’s seven-run fourth inning that came immediately after the Bluefish scored three runs in the top half of the inning to tie the game. He started the inning off by launching his first home run of the year, an opposite field blast to left. Redman ended his night with three hits and a run scored. For the outfielder who has been looking to earn playing time with Lew Ford, Bryan Sabatella and Delta Cleary, Jr. all playing well, he now has back-to-back multi-hit games. Finally, Lyons was a major offensive catalyst on Saturday. He totaled four hits, matching the most by a Duck in a game this year, and connected for his third home run and 11th double. The shortstop has had a fantastic season overall and is now hitting .386 in the month of June, trailing only Morales, who has a .421 average but just five games played. Randy Ruiz chipped in with three RBI that gave the Ducks an early 3-0 advantage, Jon Griffin had two RBI singles and Cleary, Jr. finished with two hits, a run batted in and two runs scored.

Despite Buckner not having his best stuff on the mound, he was able to pick up his fourth win of the season thanks to the offense. The righty seemed to have trouble with his grip on the mound throughout the game, and that appeared to affect his control. He allowed four runs on eight hits and five walks and needed 103 pitches to make it through five innings. The former big leaguer got out of big jams in the first and third innings before yielding three runs in the fourth to cough up a 3-0 lead. However, he managed to keep the Ducks in front after the big fourth inning. Long Island’s bullpen closed the game out, with four different relievers appearing. Patrick Crider had a rough sixth, allowing two runs to score, but Frank DeJiulio, Jr., Nick Struck and Matt Soren each threw a scoreless inning afterwards.

CLICK HERE to listen to highlights from Saturday’s game
CLICK HERE to watch postgame interviews with Dan Lyons, Jose Morales and Prentice Redman
CLICK HERE to view Saturday’s box score

Both teams will have the quick turnaround with a Father’s Day matinee on Sunday afternoon. Long Island has already extended their unbeaten streak in series play to nine consecutive series and will look to lock up their sixth straight series win. Right-hander Mark Rogers will take the mound as he makes a spot start due to the postponed game on Tuesday. With Andrew Barbosa and Ian Marshall both pitching this past Wednesday, either would have had to pitch today on short rest. Rogers enters with a 3-3 record and a 5.70 ERA through 10 games (six starts) this year. He last pitched a week ago in Bridgeport, giving up two runs on four hits and two walks in one and one-third innings of relief. The righty’s last start came on June 5 in game one of a doubleheader at Camden, and he picked up the win, throwing five innings of three-run ball and allowing three hits and three walks while striking out two. This will be his first start against the Bluefish in 2015.

Bridgeport will counter Reinaldo Lopez, who will be making his fourth start of the year and second against the Flock. He started last Sunday’s game against Long Island up at The Ballpark at Harbor Yard and suffered the loss, surrendering six runs (five earned) on nine hits and two walks while striking out two in four innings of work. The Ducks scored all six of their runs in the first inning, en route to a 9-3 win, so they will be looking to attack early once again. Lopez is 0-2 with a 6.00 ERA thus far, and his only other road start came at Sugar Land on June 9. In that outing, he gave up five runs (four earned) on seven hits and two walks with two strikeouts in five innings. The 24-year-old started the season with Double-A Montgomery in the Rays organization and posted a 3.32 ERA in five games (four starts) for the Biscuits before getting released.

Here are today’s game notes:

The Faithful Flock: The Ducks have welcomed an Atlantic League record 6,405,120 fans through the gates of Bethpage Ballpark since the team’s inaugural 2000 season. Long Island also hosted their 641st sellout crowd on Saturday, a league record as well. The Ducks have led the Atlantic League in attendance 12 times and have an all-time average attendance of 5,863 (97.7%) entering 2015.

Ducks vs. Bluefish: Today marks the 298th all-time meeting between the Ducks and Bluefish. Bridgeport currently leads the series by a 149-148 margin,  but the Ducks hold an 82-67 advantage at Bethpage Ballpark. It is also the 13th of 27 scheduled games between the two teams in 2015. The series is tied at six, with the Ducks winning this last five games. This year marks the seventh edition of the Ferry Cup Series, with the Ducks winning the Cup in four of the first six years.

All They Do Is Win: The Ducks earned their eight consecutive win on Saturday night. In addition, Long Island has an 18-1 record in their last 19 games, outscoring opponents 121-52 in that span (6.4 runs scored/game). Their 18 wins in June are four shy of the club record for wins in a month (22 – July, 2003). In addition, the Flock have won 11 straight games at Bethpage Ballpark. The longest home winning streak in team history was 12 games, which was done July 5-20, 2006.

Ford’s Fury: Lew Ford has earned hits in 13 consecutive games after picking up a single on Saturday. In those 13 games, the former big leaguer is batting .451 (23-for-51) with six doubles, eight RBI, and 13 runs. Ford currently leads the Atlantic League in batting average (.345), hits (71), RBI (44), total bases (107), doubles (19), extra-base hits (25) and slugging percentage (.519). He is also second in on-base percentage (.416) and third in runs scored (32).

Welcome to the Hit Parade: Long Island’s 18 hits on Saturday were their most in a single game this season. The previous high was 16, done on May 20 at York in an 11-9 comeback victory. The Ducks also finished one run shy of their season best of 13, which they totaled June 5 in game two of a doubleheader at Camden.

Morales Mashes: Jose Morales hit his first home run of the season with his solo blast in the fourth inning on Saturday. 11 of the 16 Ducks position players this year have now hit at least one home run. Morales also finished with four RBI, becoming the fourth Duck to do so this year. Lew Ford (twice), Jon Griffin and Mike Blanke are the other three. The backstop has hit safely in each of his last six games, compiling a .440 batting average in that span (11-for-25).

Dan’s The Man: Dan Lyons finished with four hits in Saturday’s game. In doing so, he became the fourth Duck this year to collect four hits in a single game. The others were Ford (twice), Delta Cleary, Jr. and Bryan Sabatella. Lyons also hit his third homer of the season. The shortstop totaled four homers during the 2014 season. He now ranks third in the Atlantic League with a .311 batting average.

On the Air: Today’s game will be broadcast on the Ducks’ official YouTube channel. Live streaming video and audio will be available by CLICKING HERE. Chris Buckley 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 today’s starting lineups:

Ducks
#44 Bryan Sabatella – RF
#5   Delta Cleary, Jr. – CF
#20 Lew Ford – DH
#33 Jon Griffin – 1B
#9   Mike Blanke – C
#11  Reegie Corona – 2B
#27 Prentice Redman – LF
#22 Blake Davis – 3B
#12 Dan Lyons – SS

#37 Mark Rogers – RHP

Bluefish
#2   Ethan Chapman – CF
#6   Luis An. Rodriguez – 2B
#19 Welington Dotel – RF
#26 John Alonso – 1B
#17 Jobduan Morales – DH
#3   Jake Luce – LF
#4   Matt Wessinger – 3B
#9   Luis Al. Rodriguez – C
#25 Matt Burns – SS

#36 Reinaldo Lopez – RHP

We’ll have updates for you all game long from Bethpage Ballpark as the Ducks and Bluefish look to gain the leg up in the Ferry Cup Series! You can also follow the Ducks on Twitter (@LIDucks) for updates all year long!

UPDATE (1:50): MID 1: Bluefish take a 1-0 lead on a wild pitch. Ducks coming up to bat!

UPDATE (2:03): BOT 1: Long Island gets the run right back on Jon Griffin’s sacrifice fly! 1-1 between the Flock and ‘Fish.

UPDATE (2:11): TOP 2: The Bluefish take the lead back 2-1 on a RBI double from Matt Burns.

UPDATE (2:34): BOT 3: Lew Ford with the sacrifice fly and RBI to left and the game is tied at two!

UPDATE (2:59): BOT 4: Dan Lyons with a bomb to left field, a three-run shot! Ducks lead 5-2! Lyons is on FIRE!

UPDATE (3:08): TOP 5: Bridgeport gets one run back on Welington Dotel’s RBI fielder’s choice. 5-3 Ducks.

UPDATE (3:20): BOT 5: A two-run double from Reegie Corona and a RBI single from Prentice Redman has the Ducks up 8-3!

UPDATE (4:19): FINAL: Ducks win 8-3! 12 straight at home!

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Posted on June 21, 2015, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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