The Ducks appear to be back to their winning ways. After a rough start to the second half in which they dropped 14 of their first 22 games, they have begun to rattle off wins.
A 7-5 victory over the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs Sunday at Bethpage Ballpark was the Ducks' sixth straight win and moved them two games over .500. They had 16 hits.
"It's about the team that gets hot toward the playoffs," said Delta Cleary Jr., who went 4-for-4 with three runs. "We're just trying to take care of what we can control each night."
After Ray Navarrete's pre-game number retirement ceremony delayed the first pitch nearly a half-hour, the Blue Crabs jumped on Ducks starter Ian Marshall in the top of the first. Jovan Rosa's two-out, two-run home run produced a 2-0 lead.
But the Ducks (19-17) pulled ahead 3-2 in the bottom of the first, sending nine batters to the plate. Sean Burroughs, acquired in a trade with the Bridgeport Bluefish last week, singled to left to drive in Cleary and cut the Blue Crabs' lead in half. Cody Puckett's bloop single to center tied the score and Nelfi Zapata was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to put the Ducks ahead.
Zapata's passed ball in the top of the second allowed Casey Frawley to score, making it 3-3.
Burroughs again drove in Cleary with another single in the bottom of the second, giving the Ducks a 4-3 lead. Southern Maryland's Grant Zawadzki doubled to tie the score at 4 in the fourth.
The Ducks scored two runs on two productive outs to pull ahead in the bottom of the fourth. Cleary scored on Puckett's grounder and Dan Lyons came home on Steve McQuail's sacrifice fly to leftfield.
Zapata's double in the bottom of the sixth drove in Anthony Vega and extended the Ducks' lead to 7-4. Southern Maryland added a run on a sacrifice fly in the seventh.
Marshall (6-6) earned the win. The righthander labored through five innings, allowing three earned runs on seven hits, walking three and striking out five. Amalio Diaz earned his eighth save of the year.
Burroughs went 3-for-5 with a run and two RBIs.
"He's a professional hitter," manager Kevin Baez said. "We needed someone in the middle of the lineup."