Game 130: Ducks at Riversharks
The Ducks came within one out of a complete game from their starting pitcher for a second straight night on Wednesday, holding off a late Camden rally for a 3-2 win. Bobby Blevins allowed one hit through eight innings before the Riversharks put together a two-out rally in the final frame. The victory was important for the Ducks in the standings, as the Bluefish lost and Patriots won, keeping the Flock in second place at two games back. The Bluefish are now six games back with 11 games to go.
Bobby Blevins was masterful on Wednesday night. The only hit the righty allowed through eight was a single to Carlos Guzman in the second inning. Long Island’s first two runs came in the fifth inning against Riversharks starter Sean Gleason. Steve McQuail, who had not hit a homer in 32 games, launched a leadoff homer to left to put the Ducks ahead 1-0. McQuail had hit five dingers in his first six games as a Duck, but had not hit one since July 20 at home against the York Revolution. After an Anthony Vega double, Carlos Hughes’ sacrifice fly brought the left fielder home from third to push the lead to 2-0. Vega had advanced to third on a passed ball. In the sixth Sean Burroughs grounded into a 6-4-3 double play with runners on the corners and no outs, but Dan Lyons was able to score from third to make it 3-0 Long Island.
Blevins continued to cruise through the Riversharks lineup until the ninth. After securing the first out, Zach MacPhee singled to right for the second Camden hit. Daniel Rockett then struck out swinging. That was when Blevins hit a roadblock. Michael Rockett and Brandon Chaves hit back-to-back RBI doubles with two outs to make it 3-2 Ducks. At that point, Kevin Baez went to his bullpen for Amalio Diaz. The Ducks intentionally walked Carlos Guzman to put runners at second and first with two outs to set up a force play. Diaz got into a battle with Joel Guzman as the winning run stood on first base. Guzman hit a flare into shallow center, making for a difficult play for Delta Cleary, Jr. and Lyons, who was ranging out from shortstop. On the run, Lyons made the catch over his back shoulder to end the game. Had the ball fallen for a hit, the ‘Sharks may have been able to steal the win, as Carlos Guzman was sprinting around third base when the catch was made. But, Lyons’ great grab gave the Ducks the 3-2 win.
Blevins picked up the win and improved to 4-4. He allowed two runs on four hits in eight and two-thirds innings. He struck out five and did not issue a walk. Blevins threw just 87 pitches in the start, 69 of which were strikes. He showed incredible command all game long. Diaz now has 12 saves in the closing role. Gleason fell to 6-14 with the loss. Randy Ruiz led the Ducks offensively with three hits in the ballgame, while McQuail hit his sixth homer.
Now 31-28 in the second half, the Ducks wrap up their three-game series in Camden on Thursday night. Bruce Kern gets the start, entering the game at 8-5 with a 3.39 ERA. The righty has made 37 appearances in 2015 with 11 of the outings being starts. Tonight will be his ninth straight start. In 95 and two-thirds innings, Kern has surrendered 38 runs (36 earned) on 87 hits while walking 26 and striking out 87. His previous start came on September 5 against the Blue Crabs in Central Islip. The Long Island native allowed two runs on six hits in six and two-thirds innings, earning his eighth win.
Camden counters with former Duck Daniel Herrera. Also a former big leaguer, Herrera comes in at 6-4 with a 5.22 ERA in 35 appearances (nine starts). Through 88 frames, the southpaw has allowed 59 runs (51 earned) on 116 hits while walking 30 and striking out 69. The Odessa, Texas native last pitched on September 5 as well, taking a no decision in a quality start against the Barnstormers at Clipper Magazine Stadium. Herrera tossed six innings and gave up three runs on eight hits with one walk and six strikeouts.
Here are tonight’s game notes:
Ducks vs. Riversharks: Tonight marks the 283rd all-time meeting between the Ducks and Riversharks. The Ducks currently lead the series 142-140, and the series is tied at 71 at Campbell’s Field. It also marks the final of 18 scheduled games between the two in 2015. The Ducks lead the series 12 games to five and have outscored Camden 103-44 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 60 percentage points better than any other team (Somerset, .627, 42-25). 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 .260 with a 3.29 ERA on the road this season.
Starter Success: One night after John Brownell tossed a complete game for the Ducks, Bobby Blevins came within one out of doing so on Wednesday. In the two games of this series, Ducks starters have combined to allow just five runs in 16 and two-thirds innings, good for a 2.70 ERA. Long Island’s starters have now made three consecutive quality starts and six in their last eight games.
I Can See Cleary Now: Delta Cleary, Jr. picked up a single on Wednesday and has now reached base safely in 24 consecutive games. That’s four games shy of the longest by a Duck this year (28, Lew Ford, 6/7-7/5). During the streak, the outfielder is batting .400 with five doubles, one triple, 10 RBI and 16 runs.
Randy’s Dandy: Randy Ruiz earned his second straight multi-hit game with three more hits on Wednesday. He now has five hits in eight at-bats during the series. The former big leaguer has compiled five three-hit games and 25 multi-hit contests in 55 games with the Flock in 2015. Ruiz has also hit safely in nine straight games and is batting .432 (16-for-37) during the streak.
All They Do Is Hit: Sean Burroughs and Fehlandt Lentini each picked up a single on Wednesday to extend their hitting streaks to nine games apiece. During the streaks, Burroughs is batting .457 (16-for-35) while Lentini is hitting .357 (15- for-42). They’ve combined for 14 RBI and 14 runs during the streak as well.
McQuail’s Moonshot: Steve McQuail launched a solo home run in the fifth inning on Wednesday. The longball was his sixth of the season with the Ducks and first since July 20 against York, ending a 32-game homerless drought. The Wantagh native hit five homers in his first six games with Long Island.
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:
#22 Fehlandt Lentini – RF
#5 Delta Cleary, Jr. – CF
#50 Randy Ruiz – DH
#25 Sean Burroughs – 1B
#9 Mike Blanke – C
#2 Cody Puckett – 3B
#11 Elmer Reyes – SS
#40 Steve McQuail – LF
#6 Carlos Hughes – 2B
#30 Bruce Kern – RHP
#1 Daniel Rockett – RF
#2 Michael Rockett – CF
#9 Brandon Chaves – SS
#3 Carlos Guzman – 1B
#27 Joel Guzman – 3B
#38 Mat Gamel – DH
#10 Paddy Matera – 2B
#34 Mike Kerns – C
#52 Evan Crawford – LF
#5 Daniel Herrera – LHP
Check back here for updates all game long as the Ducks and Riversharks complete their three-game set at Campbell’s Field! You can also follow the Ducks on Twitter (@LIDucks) for updates all year long!
UPDATE (7:10): Tonight’s game in Camden is being delayed due to rain. Check back here for updates on a scheduled start time for our series finale.
Posted on September 10, 2015, in Game Previews, Game Recaps and tagged 2015, Atlantic League, Baseball, Bobby Blevins, Camden Riversharks, Campbell's Field, Long Island Ducks, Randy Ruiz, Steve McQuail. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.