Game 104: Ducks vs. Blue Crabs
After John Brownell’s latest start, the Ducks have now won three straight games. Long Island opened up a four-game series with the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs on Thursday night at Bethpage Ballpark, riding Brownell’s outstanding performance to a 4-1 victory. The Ducks currently sit four games back of the first-place Somerset Patriots in the Liberty Division.
Offensively, Brownell’s support came in pairs of runs scored in the first and fourth innings. In the first, Dan Lyons continued his torrid hitting with a RBI ground rule double before Sean Burroughs laced a RBI single to right field. With a 2-0 lead, Brownell worked through the Southern Maryland order with ease. The righty allowed just two hits through the seventh inning. The Flock were leading 4-0 by that point, thanks to Anthony Vega’s two-run homer to right in the fourth inning against his former team. The Blue Crabs finally got to Brownell in the ninth. After securing the first two outs, Brownell walked Jovan Rosa and allowed a single to Gustavo Molina. Craig Maddox followed up with a RBI double making it 4-1 Ducks. At that point, number seven had already thrown 131 pitches (79 strikes), bringing Kevin Baez out of the dugout to signal for Amalio Diaz. With runners on second and third and the tying run at the plate, Diaz retired Casey Frawley on a pop up to Lyons to end the ballgame.
Brownell picked up his ninth win with the near-complete game. He allowed one run on three hits through eight and two-thirds innings, walking three and striking out eight. Brian Baker took the loss for Southern Maryland, falling to 5-9. He allowed all four runs in seven innings. Lyons and Vega each finished with a pair of hits and one run scored. Lyons also picked up his 56th RBI of the season, tying his career high for one season.
CLICK HERE to listen to highlights from Brownell’s outstanding performance
CLICK HERE to watch postgame interviews with Kevin Baez, John Brownell, and Anthony Vega
CLICK HERE to view Thursday’s box score
Long Island looks for a fourth straight win on Friday night with Bobby Blevins taking the mound. The fourth-year Duck is currently 2-3 with a 4.96 ERA in eight appearances (seven starts). Through 41 and two-thirds innings, the righty has allowed 25 runs (23 earned) on 51 hits while walking just six and striking out 35. He has yet to face the Blue Crabs in 2015. Blevins’ last start came in Texas on August 8, a 7-3 Ducks win. The 30-year-old allowed three runs on six hits in five innings to earn the “W.”
The Blue Crabs, at 13-20 in the second half, counter with Tim Sexton. Sexton was acquired in early July and has not faced the Ducks, only pitching in relief to this point in his Crabs career. He has made 12 appearances and has a 3.85 ERA without any decisions. In 14 frames, the Baltimore native has allowed six runs on 17 hits with five walks and 12 strikeouts. He last fired a hitless inning of relief in Bridgeport on Tuesday night.
Here are tonight’s game notes:
Ducks vs. Blue Crabs: Tonight marks the 147th all-time meeting between the Ducks and Blue Crabs. Southern Maryland currently leads the series 77-69, but the Ducks have a 40-38 advantage at Bethpage Ballpark. Tonight is also the 10th of 20 scheduled games between the two teams in 2015. The Ducks currently lead the series seven games to two and have won five in a row, all at home.
What Can Brown-ell Do For You?: John Brownell earned his second straight win with eight and two-thirds innings of one-run ball on Thursday. In his last two starts, the right-hander has allowed just two runs in 15 and two-thirds innings on seven hits and four walks while striking out 14 batters. Brownell has pitched seven or more innings in four straight starts and five of his last six outings, and he has stuck out at least five batters in all six starts. The win was also his 33rd as a Duck, leaving him just seven shy of the all-time team record (40, Randy Leek).
Anthony Annihilates One: Anthony Vega’s two-run home run in the fourth inning on Thursday was his first as a Long Island Duck and second of the season. His only other longball came on June 28 at Somerset while he was a member of the Blue Crabs. The Patchogue resident finished with two hits and two RBI to earn his second multi-hit game and first multi-RBI contest with the Flock.
Dan’s the Man: Dan Lyons collected two hits in Thursday’s win. He has now reached base safely in 19 of his last 20 games dating back to July 23 and is batting .361 (26-for-72) in that span. The shortstop also tied his Ducks career high in RBI for a single season with his 56th, equaling the mark he set in his All-Star season of 2012. His professional career high for RBI in a single season was 71, which he accomplished in 2008 in the Washington Nationals organization.
Cody’s Crushing It: Cody Puckett singled in his final at-bat on Thursday to extend his hitting streak to 10 straight games. During the streak, the infielder is batting .286 (12-for-42) with two doubles, one homer, five RBI and four runs. Dating back to July 23, Puckett has earned hits in 18 of his last 20 games.
Oh, What a Relief He Is: Amalio Diaz recorded the final out of Thursday’s game to earn his sixth save of the season. The right-hander has now given up just one run over his last 11 games pitched (10.1 innings), good for a 0.87 ERA. In that span, he has yielded only five hits and two walks while striking out 12 batters. Dating back to May 28, Diaz has given up just three runs total in 29.1 innings of work (28 games), good for a 0.92 ERA.
Finally, here are tonight’s starting lineups:
#22 Fehlandti Lentini – RF
#5 Delta Cleary, Jr. – CF
#12 Dan Lyons – SS
#25 Sean Burroughs – 1B
#2 Cody Puckett – 3B
#9 Mike Blanke – DH
#27 Anthony Vega – LF
#39 Nelfi Zapata – C
#6 Carlos Hughes – 2B
#18 Bobby Blevins – RHP
#1 Fred Lewis – RF
#24 Casey Stevenson – 3B
#29 Zach Wilson – 1B
#36 Jovan Rosa – LF
#23 Gustavo Molina – C
#8 Craig Maddox – DH
#4 Casey Frawley – SS
#3 Antone DeJesus – CF
#7 Grant Zawadzki – 2B
#17 Tim Sexton – LHP
Keep it here for updates throughout the evening, as the Ducks continue their four-game series with the Blue Crabs! You can also follow the Ducks on Twitter (@LIDucks) for updates all year long!
UPDATE (6:40): TOP 1: Bobby Blevins kicks and delivers and game two of four with the Blue Crabs is underway from the Duck Pond!
UPADATE (6:50): TOP 1: Gustavo Molina’s grand slam puts the Blue Crabs up 4-0.
UPDATE (7:09): TOP 2: Zach Wilson makes it 5-0 Crabs with a RBI double.
UPDATE (7:21): BOT 2: Anthony Vega puts Long Island on the board! 5-1 after his RBI single to left field!
UPDATE (8:02): BOT 4: Nelfi Zapata with the RBI single, his first as a Duck! 5-2 Blue Crabs.
UPDATE (8:17): BOT 5: Dan Lyons with the RBI double to right! 5-3 Crabs. Lyons now with a new career high for RBI in one season with 57!
UPDATE (8:25): BOT 5: Cody Puckett’s RBI double makes it a 5-4 ballgame! Still no one out in the inning, runners at second and third!
UPDATE (8:26): BOT 5: Mike Blanke follows up by reaching on an error but picking up an RBI! 5-5 ballgame!
UPDATE (9:29): BOT 8: Fehlandt Lentini…steals home!!! On a 0-2 pitch and Mike Blanke batting, Lentini’s clean steal puts LI ahead 6-5! WOW!
UPDATE (9:42): MID 9: Southern Maryland ties the game 6-6 after a run-scoring wild pitch. Ducks coming up to bat!
UPDATE (10:12): FINAL: Waddle off!!! Mike Blanke with the RBI single to right! 7-6 Ducks win, four in a row for the Flock!
Posted on August 14, 2015, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged 2015, Baseball, Bethpage Ballpark, Dan Lyons, John Brownell, Long Island Ducks, Southern Maryland Blue Crabs. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.