Game 16: Ducks at Bluefish

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GAME TIME/LOCATION: 1:12 p.m. at the Ballpark at Harbor Yard (Bridgeport, Conn.)

TODAY’S MATCHUP: The Long Island Ducks (9-6) vie for their third straight three-game series sweep and ninth consecutive win when they take on the cross-sound rival Bridgeport Bluefish (5-11) in the finale of a three-game series. It’s also the third game of the 2016 Ferry Cup Series. The Ducks lead the series two games to none.

YESTERDAY’S RESULT: A strong combination of offense and dominant pitching once again helped lead the Flock to victory, this time by a 7-1 margin. Bruce Kern, making his first start of the year, limited to the Bluefish to just one run on three hits and a walk over three innings of work. The only run he allowed came on a RBI single by Luis Hernandez after the third out of the third inning was erased on a balk call against him.

After the run, which had tied the game following a second inning solo home run by Nate Freiman, Long Island’s bullpen came on to silence Bridgeport’s bats the rest of the way. Kevin Baez used seven different relievers to pitch the final six innings: Jarrett Casey, Patrick Crider, Frank DeJiulio Jr. (1-0), Eury De La Rosa, Kevin Vance, Dan Blewett and Nick Struck. The group combined to give up just four hits and three walks while striking out five over six scoreless innings.

Bluefish starter Mike Antonini (1-3) held the Ducks’ offense quiet for the first five innings, but in the sixth, Sean Burroughs put the Ducks in front for good with a RBI single to left-center field. In the eighth, Freiman put the game out of reach with a mammoth three-run blast to left that nearly cleared the netting which blocks Webster Bank Arena. The homer gave the Ducks a 5-1 advantage, and a two-run double to right by Delta Cleary Jr. in the ninth capped the scoring for Long Island.

ON THE MOUND: Darin Downs will toe the rubber for the Ducks in the series finale. The southpaw was splendid his last time out, allowing just one hit and one unearned run over six innings on Tuesday against Lancaster. He did walk four batters but struck out seven, his new season-high, and took a no-decision in Long Island’s 3-2 walk-off win. Downs is now 0-1 with a 3.44 ERA in three starts this year and has struck out 17 but walked 11 over 15 and two-thirds innings. The former big leaguer faced the Bluefish in relief during spring training and gave up five runs on seven hits and three walks over three innings with four strikeouts. In 2015, he posted a 1-1 record with a 3.09 ERA in two starts against the Bluefish.

Bridgeport will send R.J. Hively to the mound to try and avoid a three-game sweep and end a six-game losing skid. The right-hander has struggled out of the gate, compiling an 0-1 record with a 6.60 ERA through three starts. He has allowed five runs in each of his last two outings, including his most recent one on Tuesday at York. Hively struck out 10 over five innings but yielded five runs on nine hits and a walk, taking a no-decision in York’s 6-5 win in 11 innings. Sunday will be his first start at home this year. The 27-year-old gave up one run on one hit and three walks while striking out two over four innings against the Ducks in spring training.

FOLLOW ALONG: Today’s contest will be broadcast on the Ducks’ official YouTube channel. Fans can follow the broadcast with live streaming audio online by CLICKING HERE. In addition to updates in this post, fans can follow a pitch-by-pitch account of today’s game via Pointstreak’s Game Live application by CLICKING HERE.

DUCKS GAME NOTES: For today’s full Ducks game notes, please CLICK HERE.

STARTING LINEUPS:

Ducks
#22 Fehlandt Lentini – RF
#5   Delta Cleary Jr. – CF
#20 Lew Ford – DH
#25 Sean Burroughs – 1B
#2   Cody Puckett – 2B
#12 Dan Lyons – SS
#27 Anthony Vega – LF
#29 Mike Dowd – C
#17 Matt Wessinger – 3B

#23 Darin Downs – LHP

Bluefish
#4   Ruben Sosa Jr. – CF
#2   Luis Hernandez – SS
#6   Luis Rodriguez – 2B
#13 Jose Cuevas – DH
#22 Wilkin Ramirez – RF
#17 Josh Vitters – 3B
#20 Carlos Sosa – 1B
#23 Luis Nunez – LF
#8   Yefry Castillo – C

#27 R.J. Hively – RHP

UPDATE (1:25): END 1: Each side gets a hit but nothing further in the opening inning. Scoreless after one.

UPDATE (1:37): TOP 2: Anthony Vega’s second triple of the year drives in Cody Puckett and gives the Ducks a 1-0 lead!

UPDATE (1:55): BOT 3: Dan Lyons with a spectacular diving stop and throw to first to retire Luis Hernandez for the final out of the frame! Plays like that are what won him the Rawlings Gold Glove Defensive Player of the Year award in 2015!

UPDATE (2:29): BOT 4: Bluefish take the lead with a pair of runs on a hit, two walks, a hit batter and a fielder’s choice. Bridgeport on top 2-1.

UPDATE (3:06): TOP 6: Two runs score on a fly ball to right by Mike Dowd that was dropped, and two more score on a two-run single by Fehlandt Lentini! 5-2 Ducks!

UPDATE (3:30): TOP 7: Vega now with two hits, three RBI and has been on base four times today! His two-run single balloons the Ducks’ lead to 7-2!

UPDATE (3:57): TOP 8: Lew Ford with an opposite-field solo homer to right, and Vega with a RBI double to right! 9-2 Ducks lead!

UPDATE (4:15): BOT 8: Bluefish get a pair on a two-run single by Ruben Sosa Jr. Ducks advantage is now 9-4.

UPDATE (4:33): FINAL: James Lomangino works a scoreless ninth! Ducks win it 9-4 to sweep aside the Bluefish and earn their ninth consecutive victory!

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Posted on May 8, 2016, in Game Previews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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