Game 76: Ducks at Barnstormers

Field

It was a tough first night in Lancaster, but Tuesday was a much different story for the Ducks. Two of the team’s pitchers combined to hold the Barnstormers to just two hits through nine innings, en route to a 5-0 shutout win at Clipper Magazine Stadium. The Flock improved to 3-2 in the second half of play, and are now just one win shy of 50 in 2015.

After plating three runs via sacrifice flies on Monday night, Long Island got their first three runs on RBI doubles on Tuesday. Randy Ruiz put the Flock on top 1-0 with his RBI double in the first. The teams would then go scoreless from the second to sixth inning. Ducks starter Darin Downs was solid in his Long Island debut, allowing just one hit across three shutout innings to begin the game. The southpaw walked two and struck out three on 51 pitches. Downs was on a pitch limit because he had not faced live batters in over a month. However, reliever Bruce Kern was ready to go. Kern had undoubtedly his best performance of the season, dominating Lancaster’s hitters with a steady barrage of fastballs and curveballs. He worked the final six frames of the contest, surrendering just one hit on 68 pitches with no walks and three strikeouts. Kern’s ERA is now 2.68. The Ducks put up their second and third RBI double in the seventh courtesy of Mike Blanke and Dan Lyons to go ahead 3-0. Bryan Sabatella capped off the scoring with a two-run single to right in the ninth. Lancaster second baseman Luke Hughes had botched an easy ground ball off the bat of Lyons the at-bat before Sabatella’s hit. The runs were unearned and charged to Barnstormers reliever Scott Gracey. Kern’s 1-2-3 ninth finished things off for the Ducks.

Kern improved to 5-1 on the season with the win, tying a season-high with his six stellar innings. Shunsuke Watanabe suffered the loss for the ‘Stormers by allowing three runs on six hits in seven innings. He walked two and struck out one. The righty is now 4-3 in 2015. Ruiz is currently hitting .373 for the Ducks, and extended his hitting streak to 14 games on Tuesday night. That is the highest streak by a Duck this season.

CLICK HERE to listen to highlights from Long Island’s first win of the series

CLICK HERE for Tuesday’s box score

The Ducks will send John Brownell to the hill in game three of the series. The fourth-year Duck is 6-2 with a 3.21 ERA through 13 starts. He has allowed 35 runs (31 earned) on 74 hits in 86 and two-thirds innings while walking 21 and striking out 67. Brownell has pitched against Lancaster twice this season, including once at Clipper Magazine Stadium on May 17. The righty has tossed a combined 13 and two-thirds innings and allowed five runs (four earned) on 10 hits with four walks and 10 strikeouts. Number seven does not have a decision against the ‘Stormers. He last pitched on July 10 and took a loss at home to the Somerset Patriots, but allowed just two runs in six innings.

Lancaster will try to retake a series lead with Joe Gardner on the mound. Gardner has made seven starts and comes in at 3-1 with a 2.45 ERA. The righty has given up 15 runs (12 earned) on 32 hits in 44 innings. He has walked 11 and struck out 25. Gardner has not faced the Ducks this season, and last pitched on July 10 in a 2-1 loss to the Revolution. He took a no decision, but allowed no runs on three hits in seven innings.

Here are tonight’s game notes:

Ducks vs. Barnstormers: Tonight marks the 209th all-time meeting between the Ducks and Barnstormers. The Ducks lead the series 109-99, but Lancaster has a 53-52 advantage at home. Tonight is also the 15th of 20 scheduled meetings between the teams in 2015. Long Island leads the series nine games to five.

Randy’s Dandy: Randy Ruiz extended his hitting streak to 14 consecutive games with two singles on Tuesday. That surpasses both Lew Ford and Bryan Sabatella for the longest hitting streak by a Duck this season. During the streak, the former Major Leaguer is batting .397 (23-for-58) with three homers, 14 RBI and eight runs scored. He also has six multi-hit games in his last seven contests overall and 16 multi-hit contests in 29 games with the Ducks this year.

Reegie Rakes: Reegie Corona has now hit safely in 11 consecutive games after picking up a single on Tuesday. During the streak, the infielder has a .419 batting average (18-for-43) with five doubles, one triple, one homer, six RBI and eight runs. Corona has five multi-hit games during the streak and has scored or driven in at least one run in nine of the 11 contests.

Versatile Arms: Bruce Kern pitched six innings of relief on Tuesday to pick up the win. It marked the second time this year that a Duck threw six or more innings of relief in a game. The only other instance came on May 21 at York when Mickey Jannis pitched seven innings in relief of Billy Buckner to earn the win. Tuesday was also the second time this month that Kern tossed six innings. Prior to July, he threw more than three innings just once (June 8 vs. Blue Crabs, five).

Duck Debut: Darin Downs made his first appearance and start as a Duck on Tuesday night and threw three scoreless innings, earning a no-decision. The Ducks have had eight different pitchers this year make a start with Flock for the first time (Mark Rogers, Ian Marshall, Sergio Perez, Mickey Jannis, Bruce Kern, Billy Buckner, Andrew Barbosa and Downs). In those starts, they are 2-1 with a 1.16 ERA. The eight have combined to allow just four runs in 31 innings on 19 hits and 10 walks while striking out 24 batters.

Off to the Races: The Ducks stole two more bases on Tuesday night to increase their season total to 82. That leads the Atlantic League by two over the Bridgeport Bluefish. Reegie Corona and Dan Lyons each swiped their 11th base of 2015. Lyons ranks second in the league with a .917 stolen base percentage. Bryan Sabatella leads the Flock and is second in the league with 21 stolen bases.

On the Air: Tonight’s game will be broadcast on the Ducks’ official YouTube channel. Live streaming  audio will be available online 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 tonight’s starting lineups:

Ducks

#44 Bryan Sabatella – RF
#12 Dan Lyons – SS
#5 Delta Cleary, Jr. – CF
#50 Randy Ruiz – DH
#2 Cody Puckett – 3B
#33 Jon Griffin – 1B
#9 Mike Blanke – C
#27 Prentice Redman – LF
#22 Blake Davis – 2B

#7 John Brownell – RHP

Barnstormers

#8 Zach Collier – CF
#1 Yusuke Kajimoto – 2B
#21 Kevin Rivers – RF
#35 Mike McDade – DH
#22 Kent Matthes – LF
#7 Lance Zawadzki – SS
#31 Brian Cavazos-Galvez – 1B
#27 Juan Apodaca – C
#19 Anderson Feliz – 3B

#12 Joe Gardner – RHP

Keep it here for updates all game long from Clipper Magazine Stadium as the Ducks continue their four-game series against the Lancaster Barnstormers! You can also follow the Ducks on Twitter (@LIDucks) for updates all year long!

UPDATE (7:10): MID 1: We are underway from Lancaster!

UPDATE (7:49): TOP 4: Ducks come to bat in a scoreless contest!

UPDATE (8:16): TOP 5: Ducks take a 2-0 lead on a RBI double from Prentice Redman and RBI single from Bryan Sabatella!

UPDATE (8:36): TOP 6: Ducks take a 4-0 lead on Jon Griffin’s team-leading 10th homer of the year! A two-run shot to right field!

UPDATE (9:14): TOP 8: Mike Blanke reaches on an error at first and Jon Griffin scores to make it 5-0 LI!

UPDATE (9:42): FINAL: Ducks win 5-0! John Brownell becomes the first pitcher this year to go the distance! A CG shutout for number seven!

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Posted on July 15, 2015, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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