The Ducks' offense will get a boost Friday night when Atlantic League Player of the Year Lew Ford returns to the lineup. Ford had left the team on July 11 to play with the Tijuana Toros, whose Mexican League season has ended.
Ford, 39, who played parts of six major league seasons with the Twins and Orioles, will also resume bench coach duties, team officials said.
Ford was leading the Atlantic League in batting (.361), hits (96), and RBIs (58) when he headed south of the border. In 30 games (113 at-bats) with Tijuana, Ford hit .372 with three home runs and 23 RBIs.
The Ducks struggled offensively in the immediate wake of Ford's departure, but an August trade for former major leaguer Sean Burroughs has seemingly rectified the issues. Burroughs is hitting .410 with a home run and 22 RBIs in 29 games (117 at-bats) with the Ducks.
The Ducks close out their regular-season home schedule this weekend with three games against the Sugar Land Skeeters. They end the season with seven games on the road.
A playoff berth appears likely for the Ducks. Entering Friday's game, they sat two games back of Somerset in the second half Liberty Division standings with 10 games to play. Because the Ducks have already clinched the wild card -- which will come into play if Somerset wins the division -- the only way the Ducks would miss the playoffs is if Bridgeport, who sat six games back at the beginning of play Friday or Camden, who sat nine games back, win the division.