The Ducks’ bats were quiet again on Sunday, but their pitching staff continues to shine.
Despite a quality outing from Dennis O’Grady, the Ducks lost to Somerset, 3-2, at Bethpage Ballpark in the rubber game of a weekend series. O’Grady (4-6) allowed two runs, five hits and two walks and struck out a pair in six innings. John Lannan relieved him and allowed one run in three innings.
The Ducks scored twice in the ninth, but pinch runner Fehlandt Lentini was picked off second base with one out and Alex Burg grounded out to second to end the game.
Somerset starter Lucas Irvine (6-2) earned the win with six shutout innings.
“You have to know you’re going to be out there for five, six, seven innings, so you have to stay composed and keep the team in the game,” said O’Grady, who allowed runs in both the first and second innings, before retiring 14 of the final 18 batters he faced. “It’s great being a part of this group. From top to bottom, everyone goes out there and has been doing his job.”
The Ducks (4-6 in the second half, 40-40 overall) entered Sunday ranked second in the league in runs allowed per game (4.13) and tied for second in ERA (3.94).
Though their offense drew seven walks, it only managed three hits. The Ducks came into the game scoring the second fewest runs per game (3.9) in the league and were last in both on-base percentage (.317) and slugging percentage (.373).
“We’re working, there’s no doubt about that,” manager Kevin Baez said. “Ultimately it’s about execution and doing it when the game starts.”
While Baez waits for the offense to get back on track, his pitching staff could get even stronger because the Ducks signed former big leaguers Henderson Alvarez and Jake Dunning over the weekend.
“We have a really strong staff, we compete and we matchup as good as anyone in the league,” said John Brownell, who is 7-1 with a 2.96 ERA. “We have a lot of experience offensively, too. Things haven’t been going our way, but we’re confident in the team.”