The Long Island Ducks didn't make it three walk-off wins in a row against the York Revolution Sunday at Bethpage Ballpark.
Instead, they scored early and often, taking a six-run lead in their 6-4 win over York to improve to 23-20 in the second half of the Atlantic League season and 53-60 overall.
After Camden dropped a 2-1 decision to last-place Southern Maryland earlier in the day, the Ducks picked up a game on the second-place Riversharks in the Liberty Division standings. The Ducks are five games ahead of Camden (18-25) with 27 games remaining.
Ray Navarrete and Willis Otañez hit sacrifice flies in the bottom of the first inning to give the Ducks a 2-0 lead, which set the tone for starter James Houser (8-2). He allowed three runs, four hits and a walk in seven innings, striking out seven.
"Today was a great day, a real blessing," Houser said. "[Catcher] Ralph Henriquez called a great game from the start on. Our offense came out in the first inning and picked up those two runs early. That takes a lot of pressure off me and allows me to use more pitches in the strike zone earlier.
"Today was a great day, great defense, kept the ball down. Late in the game, I made that one mistake, which cost me three runs, but we had six runs. I handed the ball off to the bullpen, and it was a great day today."
York (21-24, 56-59) scored its four runs on lefthanded-hitting Salvador Paniagua's three-run homer to leftfield in the seventh and RBI double in the ninth.
Ryan Strieby doubled with one out in the fourth and scored on Adam Bailey's single to rightfield to give the Ducks a 3-0 lead.
"Houser set the tone for the night," said Strieby, who went 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run. "Everyone is starting to click at the right time. We're hitting the ball hard and seeing it well."
Bryant Nelson's RBI double to right-centerfield in the fifth gave the Ducks a 4-0 lead before Strieby's third hit, an RBI single to leftfield, knocked out righthander Zack Segovia.
Segovia allowed six earned runs and 11 hits in 41/3 innings. Bailey's RBI forceout made it 6-0.
Notes & quotes: Outfielder Joash Brodin has signed with the Diamondbacks' organization, becoming the fourth Duck to be signed by a major-league organization this season. The others are Ben Broussard, Royals; Eric Niesen, Red Sox, and Dontrelle Willis, Angels. Danny Perales signed to play in Mexico.