Once again, the RubberDucks made the most of a home series against the Richmond Flying Squirrels.
Strong pitching by starter Tanner Tully and two relievers, combined with timely hitting led the Ducks (60-72, 26-37) to a 5-1 Eastern League Western Division victory Sunday, completing a four-game sweep in front of 6,994 fans at Canal Park.
It was the second time this season they swept a four-game series, both times at home against the Flying Squirrels (48-83, 25-39). They also did it on July 19-22.
It was the first game all week there were no injury-rehabbing Indians players on the team as they will presumably wait to learn their next assignments. The Ducks will travel to Altoona for a four-game series, starting at 6 p.m. Monday.
Tully (8-11, 4.56) allowed just a second-inning run in six innings. The left-hander scattered five hits, walked one and struck out two. Jake Paulson went 2 1/3 scoreless innings and Anthony Gose worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the ninth, striking out both hitters he faced.
"Sometimes you get the win, sometimes you don't," Tully said. "Just a team effort every time. Couple hits here and there, kept them quiet after that."
Back-to-back, two-out doubles by Johneshwy Fargas and Zach Houchins in the second did the only damage against Tully. He also stranded two runners in the sixth.
"Nothing special," Tully said. "Just be myself, let the defense work. The defense did great, and [Logan] Ice did a great job behind the plate."
After Paulson allowed three one-out singles in the ninth, Gose entered throwing mid-90s heat. He got Gio Brusa swinging, and pinch-hitter Jacob Heyward looking to earn his first save since joining the Ducks in early June.
"Just try and throw strikes," Gose said. "I'm just trying to throw it over the plate and get guys out. It doesn't matter the situation to me."
Gose is a former outfielder who played parts of five seasons in the majors. He is in his third year as a pitcher. He was signed by the Indians in December 2018 and started the season with Single-A Lynchburg.
"Great outing [by Tully] and great job by Paulson, too," Ducks manager Rouglas Odor said. "And Gose came back and helped him out. Very good job this series by the pitching staff."
The Ducks pounded out 11 hits, two each by Ernie Clement, Trenton Brooks, Andruw Monasterio and Alex Call, and also took advantage of seven walks, five by Flying Squirrels' starter Brandon Lawson (5-9).
Mitch Longo worked a 10-pitch, two-out walk in the first inning and came around on Trenton Brooks' pop-fly double inside the right-field line that eluded two Flying Squirrels. Brooks scored on Alexis Pantoja's single to left for a 2-0 lead.
Back-to-back doubles by Ice and Clement made it 3-1 in the third. They added two more runs in the fourth. Monasterio scored on Call's single, then four consecutive walks by Lawson — the last one to Nolan Jones — forced in Oscar Gonzalez.
Brooks, who started the year in Lynchburg, has been hot since the All-Star break. He has 20 doubles and 27 extra-base hits, best in the EL since July 11. He is slugging .539 and has an .888 OPS. Overall, he is batting .278 with 22 doubles and seven home runs.
"Just working hard, sticking to the process," Brooks said. "Understanding that some seasons start the way you want, some don't."
He credited Ducks hitting coach Justin Toole for much of his recent success.
"Hats off to Toolie, he's been really working with me, helping me get my swing right," Brooks said. "We've been working really hard on getting me in better spots, swinging at good pitches and not trying to do too much."
Odor is not surprised by Brooks' performance.
"He did a great job at Lynchburg last year, too," Odor said. "He's doing what he's capable of because I saw it the whole season last year. He's taking a lot of good at-bats, play disciplined and driving the baseball."