While Darrin Downs had his worst performance of the season thus far by allowing eight runs, the rest of the Long Island Ducks stepped up for him and gave him a serious helping hand. Downs stayed in the game until the Ducks were down to the Bluefish 8-4. Six pitchers threw in relief as the Ducks battled their way back.
Other than a walk off win in grand fashion, if there was one game to attend, it was this game. The Ducks started off strong as right fielder Fehlandt Lentini lead off the game with a solo shot to left field. Following the homer, shortstop Dan Lyons reached on an error, Lew Ford reached on a single, and then Tyler Colvin found a place at first base. With all three runs eventually scoring, the Ducks lead 4-0 after the first.
Things were moving along nicely for Downs until the third inning came along. The Bluefish were able to smack six hits off Downs which scored five runs and gave the fish a one run lead. Downs struggled to regain his composure in the fourth inning as life for the south paw kept dwindling. He gave up another four runs on four more hits and his team did not give him a fighting chance this time around as they had three errors in the inning as well.
“He’s better than that” said manager Kevin Baez on Darin Downs’ outing. “It seemed like every time he threw the ball up in the zone, it got crushed, but it was just one of those days that we’ll chalk up to a bad outing.”
The bleeding was finally stopped and the Ducks were able to string together five runs between the fourth and fifth inning to tie the game up at nine thanks to a game tying RBI by Lentini.
“I try to get my hands in the right spot and step in the box and sometimes you’re either feeling it or you’re not, and I’ve really been feeling it lately” explained Lentini in the post game interview.
The seventh inning was an eventful one for the Ducks as DH Mike Blanke lead off with a single. He then stole second and reached third on a throwing error by Bluefish catcher Rossmel Perez. Former Met Ruben Gotay grounded out next without allowing the opportunity to score Blanke, but the hero stepped up next.
Ducks catcher Mike Dowd, who has been on fire of late, knocked in the eventual game winning RBI. Dowd was 6-for-10 in the series vs the Bluefish along with five RBI.
“I feel like I’m just putting myself in a pretty good position to hit and to try to hit mistakes” said Dowd after arguably his best series of the season yet. “I’m going to try to keep it going and get in the cage and just keep working at it.”
As the Ducks were able to rack up 36 hits between games two and three against the Bluefish, they look to keep it rolling against the newest team in the league, the New Britain Bees. The Bees are an expansion team that entered the season as a result of the Camden Riversharks folding. The Ducks host the Bees in a 4-game set as they’re separated by as many games in the standings. To say this series is important, is an understatement.