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Dontrelle Willis shakes off forearm injury for Ducks

Ducks' starting pitcher Dontrelle Willis delivers during the

Ducks' starting pitcher Dontrelle Willis delivers during the top of the first. (July 6, 2013) Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

Ducks starter Dontrelle Willis pushed tightness in his left forearm aside in time to make Saturday night's start against the Bridgeport Bluefish at Bethpage Ballpark.

The Atlantic League All-Star improved to 5-3 as the Ducks won, 4-2.

In the second game of a three-game series between the two cross-Sound rivals, Willis was dominant through five shutout innings, allowing four hits, with three strikeouts and a walk in a 73-pitch, 42-strike performance after being placed on the inactive list earlier in the week. Four Ducks relievers finished up.

"He doesn't get rattled," Ducks manager Kevin Baez said. "He makes the pitch when he needs to make the pitch. He's missing the sweet spots of the bats a lot. He looked great."

The 31-year-old lefthander, who rose to stardom as a rookie on the 2003 World Series champion Florida Marlins and who last pitched for the Cincinnati Reds in 2011 in his nine-season big-league career, threw 14 pitches -- eight for strikes -- in a 1-2-3 top of the first.

Willis returned to the dugout to watch the Ducks' offense put some runs up on the board. Catcher Ralph Henriquez's RBI single plated leftfielder Bill Hall to cap Long Island's three-run first inning.

Former Sachem North righthander Mike Parisi, who previously pitched for the Ducks in 2011, was tagged for three runs, one earned, on three hits and one error for Bridgeport in the bottom of the first.

Even when Willis allowed a leadoff single to left by Bluefish designated hitter Alexis Gomez for Bridgeport's first hit, the 6-4 D-Train, as he is often referred to, picked him off first for the first out in the second inning.

Willis did allow two more hits in the third, one to catcher Luis Rodriguez and Daniel Mayora, yet both were left stranded on first and second, respectively, to keep the Bluefish scoreless.

Centerfielder Kraig Binick added to the Ducks' lead in the third. His RBI single scored rightfielder Adam Bailey, who doubled off the rightfield wall to get things started, to make it 4-0 Long Island after three innings of play.

Heading in, the Ducks were leading the season series seven games to four. In the fifth year of the Ferry Cup Series, each team has won the cup twice. The Ducks captured the crown in 2009 and 2011, and the Bluefish did in 2010 and 2012.

Notes & quotes: Ben Broussard was recently the first Duck in 2013 signed by an MLB team, the Royals.

New York Sports