On the same day the Ducks lost yet another member of their starting rotation to another league, their remaining hurlers did nothing to indicate that they will be next to migrate to The Show.
Starter Nick Struck allowed three runs (two earned) and seven hits in 5 2⁄3 innings in the Ducks’ 12-0 loss to the Lancaster Barnstormers on Sunday in front of 5,912 fans at a steamy Bethpage Ballpark in Central Islip.
Struck, who struck out seven, battled through the first four innings before finally allowing Lancaster (16-20) to break through on K.C. Hobson’s solo home run in the fifth. Lancaster scored two more runs in the sixth before Struck gave way to a bullpen that would soon blow up.
A nine-run seventh broke open the game. Dix Hills native John Mincone allowed six runs and five hits in the inning and Glen Cove native Kyle Hansen allowed three more runs.
“Our bullpen has been pitching a lot lately,” Ducks manager Kevin Baez said. “I think if we can get them some rest, they’ll get back to throwing the ball a lot better.”
Delta Cleary Jr. had the only two hits for the Ducks (19-16) off Lancaster starter Bryan Evans, who struck out 13 in the shutout.
The news that lefty Eury De La Rosa’s contract had been purchased by the Houston Astros came down only a few hours before the game. De La Rosa, who started the season in the bullpen and was moved into the starting rotation July 30, is the seventh Duck to have his contract purchased by another professional league this season.
In three starts, De La Rosa was 1-1 with a 4.15 ERA, striking out 14 in 13 innings. He was 3-4 with a 3.25 ERA, 60 strikeouts and 14 walks in 39 appearances.
De La Rosa is the fourth Ducks starter to have his contract purchased since Mark Blackmar went to the Washington Nationals on July 3. The Ducks have had to work around Jack Snodgrass (Texas Rangers), Darin Downs (Chinese Professional League) and Yaphank native Bruce Kern (Chinese Professional League) leaving for other organizations.
But through all of the turnover, Baez has continued to lead a first-place team. The Ducks are a half-game ahead of Bridgeport and a game in front of Somerset in the Liberty Division second-half standings. The Ducks won the first half and already are in the playoffs.