The Ducks showed few signs Sunday that their smoking-hot play in June will end anytime soon. They earned their ninth straight victory by beating the Bridgeport Bluefish, 8-3, in front of 5,723 fans at Bethpage Ballpark, the second time this month they have strung together that many victories.
The Ducks are 19-1 in June and have won 12 straight at home, tying a club record.
"Everyone is excited and confident," said reliever Bruce Kern, who earned the win. "We know that we're going to get a big hit and someone is going to step up. It's just a matter of who."
This time it was shortstop Dan Lyons, whose three-run home run off Reinaldo Lopez in the fourth inning broke a 2-2 tie.
"I got a couple fastballs early and an 0-2 curveball in the dirt," Lyons said. "I was able to see the curveball and he threw another curve, left it up in the zone, and sort of made a mistake. I saw it well, put a good swing on it and capitalized."
It was Lyons' fourth home run in the Ducks' last 11 games, tying his high in any of the previous four seasons.
The Bluefish cut their deficit to 5-3 in the fifth before the Ducks broke it open in the bottom of the inning. Reegie Corona doubled to rightfield to drive in Lew Ford and Mike Blanke and scored on Prentice Redman's bloop single to right for an 8-3 lead.
The Ducks struck out 13 Bluefish, eight after the fourth inning. Ducks spot starter Mark Rogers allowed two runs and four hits in four innings, striking out five. Kern gave up a run and two hits and struck out three in two innings.
Lopez allowed five runs and seven hits.
Despite their hot streak, the Ducks (38-17) still are chasing the Somerset Patriots, who beat Sugar Land to maintain a 11/2-game lead in the Liberty Division. The Ducks and Patriots, who split a four-game series in May, will close out the first half July 3-5 at Bethpage Ballpark. The winner of the first half earns an automatic spot in the playoffs.