There was no need for K-Rod on Friday night. Four days after the Ducks signed former All-Star closer Francisco Rodriguez, the team broke the franchise record for runs scored — topping the beleaguered Southern Maryland Blue Crabs, 27-9, in their home opener at Bethpage Ballpark in Central Islip.
The Ducks scored in every inning after the first. The output bested their previous offensive standard, 25 runs, scored on June 9, 2011, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The Ducks (4-3) did not score more than 13 runs at any point last season. The Ducks have won four straight home openers and are 12-7 all time in their Long Island season debut.
“You can’t [explain it],” Ducks manager Kevin Baez said of the outburst. “If you’re on the other side of it, it’s one of those nights and if you’re on this side of it, it’s one of those nights where everything is going your way. Every ball is finding a hole and you’re glad to be on this side.”
Cody Puckett, who missed most of last year with a ruptured patella tendon, went 3-for-5 with a home run, five runs, and six RBIs. David Washington went 4-for-5 with two home runs, six runs, and three RBIs.
“I was just seeing the ball well,” Washington said. “I got good pitches to hit and took advantage.”
“You know what?” Baez said of Washington. “When he makes contact, it’s going. We sure saw the results of that today.”
Washington and Puckett smashed back-to-back home runs during a seven-run second inning. Washington’s homer, a two-run shot, slammed off the green batters eye in centerfield — a mammoth shot for the 6-5 Washington. Puckett smacked his over the left-centerfield fence.
Lew Ford capped the inning with a bases-clearing double that gave the Ducks a 7-0 lead.
Ducks starter Jair Jurrjens, a former major league all-star, allowed seven hits, a walk and two runs in six innings with five strikeouts. The start came one week after Jurrjens’ rocky Ducks debut. He allowed four runs in four innings and struck out only one last Friday in Southern Maryland.
“I was making quality pitches and keeping the ball down,” he said of the improved performance. “[Southern Maryland] was really aggressive. I went early to my breaking ball stuff and kept them off balance.”
Southern Maryland starting pitcher Sean O’Sullivan allowed seven earned runs in 2 1⁄3 innings. Southern Maryland used five pitchers and one position player on the mound.