Game 47: Ducks at Bees

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GAME TIME/LOCATION: 6:35 p.m. at New Britain Stadium (New Britain, Conn.)

TONIGHT’S MATCHUP: The Long Island Ducks (23-23) look to complete a three-game sweep of the New Britain Bees (16-29) in tonight’s series finale. Long Island swept both games of a doubleheader on Wednesday to improve to 4-5 against the Bees this year and 3-3 at New Britain Stadium. The Ducks now sit five games behind the Somerset Patriots for first place in the Liberty Division, while the Bees have fallen to 11 and a half games out of first place and six and a half behind the Flock.

YESTERDAY’S RECAP: Starting pitching led the way for the Flock on Wednesday night as the Ducks swept a single admission doubleheader from the Bees with 6-1 and 2-0 victories.

Dennis O’Grady (2-2) started the opener for Long Island and gave the Ducks five innings of one-run ball. The right-hander gave up just four hits and four walks during his outing while striking out seven batter and threw 82 pitches, 49 for strikes. Only two of the four hits O’Grady allowed went to the outfield, and his only hiccup came in the fifth inning when he walked three straight with one out, including a bases loaded free pass to Jovan Rosa. However, he bounced back with strikeouts of Conor Bierfeldt and Jon Griffin to escape the jam. Patrick Crider and Zac Treece then each pitched a scoreless inning of relief to seal the win.

Meanwhile, the Ducks scored early and often against Bees starter Mike Lee (0-4). Fehlandt Lentini opened the game with a solo home run down the left field line. One inning later, Long Island added three more runs to take a 4-0 lead. Giovanny Alfonzo grounded a two-run single up the middle, and Lentini connected for a two-out RBI double to left.

In the third, Marc Krauss followed a single and a walk with an RBI single to right-center for the Ducks’ fifth run of the game. Lentini rounded out the scoring in the sixth with his third hit and third RBI of the game, a single to right that plated Krauss, who was 3-for-3 in the ballgame.

Game two was all about Tim Melville (3-4) for the Flock. The right-hander was able to end a two-start losing skid with his most dominant performance of the year. He fired six shutout innings during the game, yielding four singles and one walk. The former big leaguer mixed a tremendous fastball with a nasty breaking ball and change-up to record 14 strikeouts in the game, tying a franchise single-game record set previously by Mike Loree in September of 2011 and Rich Hill in August of 2015. Melville threw a total of 89 pitches, 65 of which were strikes.

Both of Long Island’s runs came in the third inning against Bees starter Brian Dupra (3-3). Lentini reached on an error by shortstop Jake McGuiggan and moved to second on a poor pickoff through from Dupra. Anthony Vega then drew one of his three walks in the game, and Elmer Reyes followed with an infield single to short. Lew Ford nearly missed a bases-clearing double and a three-run homer down the left field line on consecutive pitches, but he settle for a two-run single to right that gave the Ducks a 2-0 advantage.

The Ducks had several opportunities to make the game much more lopsided but failed to do so. Dupra walked three but left the bases loaded in the first inning. Following Ford’s single and a walk to Krauss in the third, he recorded three straight outs to once again leave the bags full. Finally, in the fourth, Krauss popped out to left field with two men out after a single and two walks. Ultimately, Melville was able to maintain the lead before Chin-Hui Tsao closed out the game with a 1-2-3 seventh to earn his fourth save.

ON THE MOUND: The Ducks hand the ball to Rafael Perez (3-1, 3.31 ERA) in the series finale at New Britain Stadium. The southpaw last pitched on Friday in game two of a doubleheader at Bridgeport, throwing four scoreless innings and yielding just two hits and a walk while striking out five in a 6-0 Ducks win. Perez threw 63 pitches, 45 of which were strikes, as he made his return following a groin injury that caused him to miss two starts. The MLB veteran has struck out 32 batters while walking only eight in 35 and one-third innings this season. He faced the Bees in New Britain back on May 14, earning the win in game one of a doubleheader. The 35-year-old gave up just one run on five hits and two walks while striking out five over five innings in Long Island’s 3-1 victory.

Anthony Marzi (3-3, 3.16 ERA) will look to avoid the sweep for the Bees. The left-hander comes into the game off of a no-decision in his most recent outing on Friday at Southern Maryland. He threw six innings of one-run ball in the start, giving up just six hits and a walk while striking out a season-high six in Bridgeport’s 7-3 victory. Marzi allowed four runs in his previous start before that, but only one of them was earned. In fact, the second-year Bee has given up three earned runs total over his past four starts, compiling a 1.08 ERA in that span and striking out at least five in all four starts. His only start against the Flock this year came on April 30 at Bethpage Ballpark. The 24-year-old threw five scoreless innings, yielding just three this and a walk while striking out three in New Britain’s 5-1 win.

FOLLOW ALONG: Fans can follow all the action for tonight’s game, and every Ducks game in 2017, on the Long Island Ducks Broadcast Network. Streaming HD video and audio via BoxCast will be available on the team’s official Facebook page through Facebook Live, on the Ducks’ official YouTube channel and at LIDucks.com in the Video Center. In addition to updates in this post, fans can follow a pitch-by-pitch account of tonight’s game via Pointstreak’s Game Live application by CLICKING HERE.

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

STARTING LINEUPS:

Ducks
#24 Fehlandt Lentini – RF
#13 Elmer Reyes – 2B
#20 Lew Ford – LF
#23 Alex Burg – C
#15 Jordan Pacheco – DH
#34 Marc Krauss – 1B
#6   Giovanny Alfonzo – 3B
#5   Delta Cleary Jr. – CF
#12 Dan Lyons – SS

#40 Rafael Perez – LHP

Bees
#8   Yusuke Kajimoto – 2B
#3   James Skelton – C
#35 Jovan Rosa – DH
#33 Jon Griffin – 3B
#28 Conor Bierfeldt – LF
#24 Craig Maddox – 1B
#6   Jamar Walton – RF
#10 Michael Crouse – CF
#5   Michael Baca – SS

#12 Anthony Marzi – LHP

UPDATE (6:54): END 1: Neither side pushes across a run in the opening inning, with both teams leaving a runner at second base.

UPDATE (7:12): TOP 2: Ducks take a 3-0 lead! RBI singles from Giovanny Alfonzo & Delta Cleary Jr. along with an RBI double from Fehlandt Lentini gives the Flock an early advantage!

UPDATE (7:20): BOT 2: Conor Bierfeldt leads off the inning with a solo home run to left field, cutting the Ducks lead to two.

UPDATE (7:52): END 4: Back-to-back 1-2-3 innings for Rafael Perez, who has now retired nine Bees batters in a row! Still 3-1 Ducks after four.

UPDATE (8:15): BOT 5: Bees take advantage of an error and close to within one on an RBI single by Michael Baca. However, Perez strands two runners on base.

UPDATE (8:48): END 7: Eury De La Rosa ends a scoreless inning of relief with a double play ball. Final line on Perez: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K.

UPDATE (9:14): END 8: Amalio Diaz with a scoreless inning, stranding the tying run at second after a leadoff single!

UPDATE (9:28): FINAL: Chin-Hui Tsao nails down his fifth save of the year, and the Ducks complete a three-game sweep of the Bees with a 3-2 win!

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Posted on June 8, 2017, in Game Previews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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