For one member of the Long Island Ducks, it was a trot around the bases that has become almost second nature. For another player, it was unheard of.
Lew Ford, in his eighth season with the Ducks, hit his 57th home run as a member of the team in the first inning Sunday night. One inning later, Giovanny Alfonzo, playing in his 48th game as a Duck, followed with his first home run in a Long Island uniform.
The power surge from the Ducks, who have struggled offensively the majority of this season, helped them end the first half on a high note as they beat Southern Maryland, 10-5, and completed a three-game sweep in front of a sellout crowd of 6,744 at Bethpage Ballpark. The Ducks (36-34) will start the second half of the season Monday night.
Elmer Reyes added a three-run homer in the third inning.
It was the second straight game in which the Ducks scored 10 runs. They scored eight runs in the eighth inning Saturday in a 10-8 victory.
“You’re hoping it’s contagious,” manager Kevin Baez said. “But it’s definitely a good sign. You want guys to feel good swinging the bats.”
The newest member of the Ducks quickly made his presence known. Centerfielder Quin tin Berry, who played 125 major-league games and stole a base for the Red Sox in the 2013 World Series, led off the game with a single before stealing second and scoring on Ford’s homer.
One inning later, Alfonzo, the nephew of former Mets and Ducks infielder Edgardo Alfonzo, homered to extend the Ducks’ lead to 3-0. He finished the game 4-for-4.
“It was awesome,” Alfonzo said. “The guys are always joking with me about not having [a homer], so I made it a point to tell everybody today I was like, ‘I’m going to get one today.’ ”
The Ducks entered Sunday ranked last of eight teams in the Atlantic League in batting (.250), on-base percentage (.315) and slugging percentage (.365) and seventh in runs (3.8 per game). They were in the bottom half of nearly every offensive category.
“We got the confidence yesterday and it continued today,” Ford said. “I think today was better in how we continued to get runs throughout the game. We kept putting runs on the board, kept putting pressure on them, and that’s something we’ve been lacking early on in the year, so that’s a good sign.”