Game 128: Ducks at Riversharks

Field

With every team in the Liberty Division losing on Monday, the division’s standings look exactly as they did going into Labor Day. As for the Ducks, they dropped their series finale at Bethpage Ballpark to the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs, 3-2. Two more Ducks hit homers, giving Long Island six in their last two games, but the two solo shots were not enough to earn the win. The Blue Crabs managed a split of the four-game series with the victory. Long Island continues to sit two games back of the Patriots for first place, with the Bluefish in third at five games back.

Ducks starter Darin Downs, who entered the game with five quality starts in his last six outings, continued the trend with yet another strong performance. However, Southern Maryland opened the scoring with two runs in the second. With a runner at first and one out, Casey Frawley lofted a soft liner into center field that Delta Cleary, Jr. slid for but was unable to handle. The ball rolled well behind him, allowing Jamar Walton to score from first and give the Crabs a 1-0 lead. The play was officially ruled a RBI triple for Frawley. Three pitches later, Antone DeJesus’ sacrifice fly to left put Southern Maryland in front 2-0. It was not until the fifth that the Ducks were able to break through against Blue Crabs starter Daryl Thompson. Thompson kept the Ducks offense in check throughout the contest, but allowed a solo homer to Cody Puckett in the home half of the fifth. It was Puckett’s eighth dinger of the season. The teams then traded runs in the sixth and seventh. DeJesus picked up his second RBI in the sixth with a single to right with the bases loaded to make it a 3-1 ballgame. In the seventh, Elmer Reyes hit his second homer as a Duck, a low liner that just passed the wall in left. However, the Flock were unable to crack the scoreboard again, as Blue Crabs closer Cody Eppley earned the save in the ninth.

Reyes finished with a pair of hits including the homer. Downs fell to 4-5 with the loss, allowing three runs on eight hits in six innings of work. It was his fourth straight quality start. His ERA is now 3.80, well below his July 30 mark of 5.60. Thompson moved to 6-6 with the win for Southern Maryland.

CLICK HERE to listen to highlights from the series finale

CLICK HERE to watch postgame interviews with Kevin Baez and Darin Downs

CLICK HERE to view Monday’s box score

Long Island now travels to New Jersey for a three-game series with the Camden Riversharks at Campbell’s Field. Two of the league’s top three strikeout leaders will go at it in the opener. John Brownell looks to continue his strong 2015 campaign on Tuesday night. Brownell comes into the game at 11-4 with a 3.23 ERA in 23 starts. In 156 innings, the righty has given up 62 runs (56 earned) on 133 hits while walking 41 and striking out 126. His 11 wins and 126 strikeouts are league highs. The 32-year-old last started on September 3 at home against the Bluefish. Brownell went the distance, allowing two runs on six hits in nine innings while walking two and striking out seven. The 6-foot-3 hurler threw 77 strikes on 118 pitches.

Former Duck Bill Murphy gets the start for the last-place ‘Sharks. Murphy is currently third in the league with 110 strikeouts, a record of 6-14 and an ERA of 4.71. In 25 appearances (24 starts), the lefty has given up 85 runs (77 earned) on 156 hits in 147 innings. He has walked 70 batters. His previous start also came on September 3, when Camden defeated York 4-3 in Pennsylvania. Murphy was the victor, allowing one run on two hits in five frames, with three walks and eight strikeouts.

Here are tonight’s game notes:

Ducks vs. Riversharks: Tonight marks the 281st all-time meeting between the Ducks and Riversharks. The Ducks currently lead the series 141-139, and the series is tied at 70 at Campbell’s Field. It also marks the 16th of 18 scheduled games between the two in 2015. The Ducks lead the series 11 games to four and have outscored Camden 100-39 overall this season.

Home Cooking: The Ducks currently have an Atlantic League-leading 46-21 record at home in 2015. Their .687 winning percentage is 56 percentage points better than any other team (Somerset, .631, 41-24). As a team, the Ducks have compiled a .303 batting average and a 3.29 ERA at Bethpage Ballpark this year. Comparatively, they’re batting .261 with a 3.31 ERA on the road this season.

Cody Crushes One: Cody Puckett’s solo home run in the fifth inning on Monday was his eighth of the year. It was also his first longball since August 7 at Sugar Land, ending a 29-game homerless drought. The infielder has now launched 18 homers in two seasons with the Flock. In addition, he has hit safely in nine straight games. During the streak, the California native is batting .324 (12-for-37).

Elmer Erupts: Elmer Reyes’ solo blast in the seventh inning on Monday was his second home run in eight games with the Ducks. His first came on September 2 in a 12-0 win over Bridgeport. As a team, the Ducks have now hit 83 longballs this season, including six in the last two games.

Now That’s High Quality Pitching: Despite suffering the loss on Monday, Darin Downs tossed his fourth consecutive quality start. In those four starts, the left- hander is 2-2 with a 2.88 ERA, allowing eight earned runs in 25 innings of work. In that span, he has yielded 24 hits and six walks while striking out 23 batters. Downs has now given up three runs or less in eight of his 11 starts with the Ducks.

You’ve Been Thunder-Struck: Nick Struck threw another scoreless inning of relief on Monday. The right-hander has now made 10 consecutive appearances without allowing a single run, striking out 13 batters in 13 innings. Since the start of August, Struck has yielded just two runs in 18 innings, good for a 1.00 ERA.

Back in the Bigs: Rich Hill was promoted to the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday. He becomes the 15th player in franchise history to return to the Major Leagues after playing for the Ducks. The lefty pitcher threw 11 scoreless innings and struck out 21 in two starts with the Flock before being signed by the Red Sox on August 10.

On the Air: Today’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

#22 Fehlandt Lentini – RF
#5 Delta Cleary, Jr. – CF
#12 Dan Lyons – SS
#50 Randy Ruiz – DH
#25 Sean Burroughs – 1B
#39 Nelfi Zapata – C
#2 Cody Puckett – 3B
#11 Elmer Reyes – 2B
#27 Anthony Vega – LF

#7 John Brownell – RHP

Riversharks

#9 Brandon Chaves – SS
#2 Michael Rockett – CF
#3 Carlos Guzman – 1B
#27 Joel Guzman – 3B
#38 Mat Gamel – DH
#10 Paddy Matera – 2B
#1 Daniel Rockett – RF
#34 Mike Kerns – C
#47 Zach MacPhee – LF

#14 Bill Murphy – LHP

Check back here for updates all game long as the Ducks and Riversharks kick off their three-game set at Campbell’s Field! You can also follow the Ducks on Twitter (@LIDucks) for updates all year long!

UPDATE (7:09): MID 1: Ducks go scoreless in the top of the first. John Brownell takes the mound!

UPDATE (7:21): BOT 1: Mat Gamel’s RBI single puts the Riversharks on top 1-0.

UPDATE (7:39): BOT 2: Brandon Chaves with a RBI single and Michael Rockett with a sacrifice fly putting the ‘Sharks up 3-0.

UPDATE (8:32): MID 6: Ducks still trail 3-0. John Brownell ready to get back to work!

UPDATE (9:08): BOT 8: John Brownell, with two strikeouts in the frame, sets a new career-high with 134 K’s!

UPDATE (9:16): FINAL: Ducks drop the series opener, 3-0.

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Posted on September 8, 2015, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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