Game 65: Ducks at Skeeters

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GAME TIME/LOCATION: 7:05 p.m. CDT at Constellation Field (Sugar Land, Texas)

TONIGHT’S MATCHUP: Game five of a seven-game series between the Long Island Ducks (33-31) and the Sugar Land Skeeters (27-37) takes place this evening. The Ducks had a three-game winning streak snapped on Monday night, while the Skeeters ended their own six-game losing skid. Long Island holds a 4-3 lead in this year’s season series and has taken three of four thus far in Texas. Both teams have been eliminated from first half title contention.

YESTERDAY’S RECAP: A terrific start to Monday night’s game for the Flock was quickly erased, as the Skeeters earned their first win of the series with a 10-4 triumph.

The Ducks erupted for three runs out of the gate off of Skeeters starter and former Duck Mitch Talbot (2-0) following a 38-minute rain delay. After back-to-back singles by Fehlandt Lentini and Anthony Vega, Lew Ford brought in the game’s first run with a groundout up the first base line. Long Island would then load the bases when Angelo Songco was intentionally walked and Alex Burg was hit by a pitch. Elmer Reyes followed with a two-run single through the left side to give the Flock a 3-0 lead.

Ducks starter Alfredo Simon (0-2) retired the first five Sugar Land batters in order, needing just seven pitches to get through the first and striking out the first two of the second inning. However, Wilfredo Rodriguez singled with two outs, and that started a string of seven consecutive two-out hits that gave the Skeeters a 6-3 lead. Derek Miller’s two-run bloop double, Josh Prince’s two-run single, an RBI double from Kevin Ahrens and an RBI triple from Anthony Giansanti did the damage.

Talbot settled in and proceeded to retire 14 consecutive Ducks batters following Reyes’ single. Simon gave up a single and a double to begin the third before being lifted in favor of Henry Hirsch. Hector Olivera’s sac fly in the third increased the lead to four for the Skeeters, and a dropped fly ball in left by Vega with two outs and the bases loaded in the fourth allowed two more runs to score for the hosts.

Sugar Land would finish with 10 runs and 13 hits on the night, with nine runs and nine hits coming with two outs. Dan Lyons connected for an RBI double with two outs in the seventh to round out Long Island’s scoring. Roman Gomez made his debut in a Ducks uniform, and the right-hander pitched two perfect innings of relief in the fifth and sixth.

ON THE MOUND: Seeking to get back on track, Dennis O’Grady (3-4, 4.41 ERA) will take the mound for the Ducks tonight. He is coming off of back-to-back losses in his past two starts in which he allowed nine runs on 12 hits over five innings at Lancaster on June 17 and gave up four runs (three earned) on four hits and five walks in five innings on June 22 against Somerset. Prior to that, the Floral Park, N.Y. native had yielded just two runs in 12 innings over his previous three outings (two starts). Taking away his last road start, O’Grady has compiled a 3-1 record and a 2.14 ERA in his other six road outings (three starts). Tonight will be his first-ever appearance against the Skeeters.

Michael Nix (5-5, 2.79 ERA) will oppose O’Grady on Tuesday night. The right-hander has been Sugar Land’s best starter this year and will be making his 15th appearance (13th start) tonight. He comes into the outing having thrown 18 consecutive scoreless innings dating back to the third inning of his start on June 11 against Southern Maryland. In that span, he has given up nine hits and nine walks while striking out six batters. The Georgia native most recently threw six scoreless innings on June 21 at New Britain, giving up four hits and three walks but taking a no-decision in Sugar Land’s 5-2 defeat. Nix has allowed two runs or less in each of his past nine appearances dating back to May 17 at Somerset. He faced the Ducks on May 31 at Bethpage Ballpark and earned the win with seven innings of one-run ball, surrendering two hits and two walks with five strikeouts.

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
#26 Angelo Songco – DH
#34 Marc Krauss – 1B
#15 Jordan Pacheco – C
#6   Giovanny Alfonzo – 3B
#12 Dan Lyons – SS
#11 Anthony Vega – CF

#17 Dennis O’Grady – RHP

Skeeters
#7   Josh Prince – 2B
#4   Kevin Ahrens – SS
#21 Anthony Giansanti – CF
#16 Travis Scott – 1B
#15 Bryan Pounds – 3B
#9   Wilfredo Rodriguez – DH
#36 Hector Olivera – LF
#3   Albert Cordero – C
#6   Derek Miller – RF

#27 Michael Nix – RHP

UPDATE (7:23): END 1: We are are underway in Texas, as both sides are held off the scoreboard in the opening inning.

UPDATE (7:49): BOT 2: Sugar Land scores six two-out runs in the second inning for the second straight night.

UPDATE (8:24): END 4: Dennis O’Grady has responded with back-to-back scoreless frames in the third and fourth.

UPDATE (8:53): END 6: O’Grady picks off Derek Miller at first base, the second runner he’s picked off tonight!

UPDATE (9:28): BOT 8: Three two-out hits, including an RBI double by Albert Cordero, give the Skeeters an insurance run.

UPDATE (9:37): FINAL: Michael Nix finishes the complete game shutout to give the Skeeters a 7-0 win. Game six of the series tomorrow night at 7:05 CDT.

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Posted on June 27, 2017, in Game Previews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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