NEWARK – Matt Esquivel drove in four runs, three coming on a bases-loaded double in the first inning, and Ray Navarrete belted a grand slam to highlight another five-run rally in the fourth inning, leading the Long Island Ducks to a 15-1 rout of the Newark Bears Sunday night at Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium.
The Ducks jumped all over Bears starter and Matt Smith (4-8) for five runs in the top of the first inning, sending 11 men to the plate. Smith had trouble finding the strike zone and walked three of the first five batters he faced, including three straight to bring in the first run of the game. Dustan Mohr drew a walk with the bases loaded for the first run. Esquivel cleared the bases with his three-run double and Juan Francia delivered Esquivel with a single for the 5-0 lead.
The Bears then scored one run in the bottom of the first inning, when Pablo Ozuna singled, stole second and came home to score on Daryle Ward’s RBI double. Long Island though continued the assault on Smith with two more runs in the top of the second. Mohr had an RBI double and Esquivel drove in his fourth run in the first two innings with a sacrifice fly.
The Ducks then put the game away with five more runs in the fourth inning off reliever Willie Banks, who replaced Smith to start the third inning.
The big blow in the fourth was the grand slam from Navarrete, which pushed the lead to 12-1.
Ducks starter Joe Esposito pitched eight solid innings, allowing just six hits and one run, striking out seven and walking no one to improve his record to 3-4 on the season. Kyle Jackson finished up for the Ducks. Matt Cavagnaro paced the Ducks’ attack with four hits, including a two-run homer in the eighth inning off reliever Michael Mehlich. Ward and Brian Barton were the lone Bears to have more than one hit, each collecting a single and a double in the loss.
After an off day on Monday, the Bears are back in action and continue their home stand with a three-game series against the Bridgeport Bluefish. Game time is set for 11:05 a.m., with the gates of Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium opening at 10:05 a.m. Newark will host the first camp day of the summer, as campers from around the tri-state will descend on Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium.
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