HIGH POINT, N.C. – The Long Island Ducks rode the hot bat of second baseman Daniel Murphy to take a 5-2 win over the High Point Rockers on Sunday afternoon at Truist Point.
Murphy, a three-time National League All-Star with the Mets and Nationals, hit a two-run homer in the first and added an RBI double in the eighth to spearhead the Ducks’ offensive attack.
Murphy’s homer gave the Ducks a 2-0 lead in the first and they would extend the lead to 3-0 when Luis Guerrero hit a solo homer leading off the fifth.
The Rockers made it a 3-1 game in the sixth when Michael Russell started the frame with a single before stealing second and third and scoring on an RBI single by Zander Wiel.
Long Island added a pair of runs off reliever Mickey Jannis in the eighth when Adeiny Hechavarria and Murphy hit back-to-back doubles before Murphy scored on a passed ball.
The Rockers rallied in the ninth when D.J. Burt doubled with two outs and scored on a triple by Shed Long, Jr. But Ducks’ closer Al Alburquerque retired John Nogowski to end the game and cement the 5-2 win.
The Rockers were led by Long, Jr. who had three hits including a double and a triple, and Russell who notched multiple hits for the third straight game.
James Marvel, in his first start as a Rocker, took the loss while throwing five innings, allowing four hits and striking out three. Long Island starter Stephen Woods, Jr. went fie innings and struckout six while allowing no runs and just four base hits.
“It was a well-played game,” said Rockers manager Jamie Keefe. “We battled all day and we had the best we could hope for, to have the tying run at the plate in the ninth. James (Marvel) controlled the zone, he just threw one bad pitch to (Murphy).
“Long Island played good defense and Murphy, he is such a good hitter, he’ll be back in the Major Leagues before the end of this year. We have to look at this weekend as we took two out of three and in that last one, we had a chance to tie the game in the ninth. That’s all we can ask for.”
The Rockers finished the game with 10 hits to nine for the Ducks. But seven of Long Island’s hits went for extra bases including five doubles and two home runs. Three of High Point’s hits were for extra bases including Long, Jr.’s double and triple and a double from Burt.
The Rockers will have Monday off before continuing their homestand with a three-game series with the Charleston Dirty Birds. Game one of the series is slated for 6:35 p.m. on Tuesday, May 2 with Neil Ramirez on the mound for the Rockers.