Erie MLN: Bats Heating Up With Weather

The Erie SeaWolves' bats are starting to emulate the June weather on the shores of Lake Erie. The SeaWolves pulled off four straight wins bookended by a pair of loss in the week that was to move to within one game of .500. Erie is currently in third place in the Eastern League Western Division with a 27-28 record.

The Wolves took three of four at Binghamton, before winning two in a three-game series against the division-leading Harrisburg Senators at home.

Series of Fortunate Events

Much of the SeaWolves's recent success can be attributed to a consistent approach that has enabled them to win most of their series. In their last five series, the SeaWolves have split or tied four of them. And although the Wolves are yet to record a series sweep on the season, manager Chris Cron said the series wins are just as important, especially against first-place Harrisburg.

"Winning the series is huge," he said.

"They're at the top of the pack, and it's a very good team over there so now we know where we're standing," Cron said after the SeaWolves took two of three from Harrisburg.

Erie's offense has also been a major reason for the team's victories. In four wins last week, the SeaWolves averaged eight runs per contest and several of the wins can be have been results of clutch hitting and success of newcomers.

In Erie's 6-5 extra innings win over Harrisburg Friday night, first baseman Michael Bertram blasted just his third home run in the bottom of the 10th inning for the walk-off win. For the season, Bertram is hitting .271 with 17 RBIs in 42 games.

Since being promoted from Single-A Lakeland, outfielder Michael Rockett has been tearing the cover off the ball. In six games, Rockett maintains a .350 average. Rockett's presence has provided a substantial boost considering he was hitting just .261 in 19 games for the White Caps.

Transactions

Just a day after he earned his first win of the season by throwing seven shutout innings in Erie's 3-1 win over Harrisburg Sunday, Luke Putkonen was sent down to Single-A Lakeland. Putkonen improved his record to 1-7 on the season with a 7.57 ERA in 11 outings.

In his place, the SeaWolves received Brooks Brown from the Triple-A Toledo Mud Hens. Brown registered a team-high 12 wins for the SeaWolves in 2010, but had been sidelined with arm troubles since spring training.

Reliever Zach Simons was placed on the 7-day disabled list with blister problems after allowing back-to-back home runs in his last outing Saturday night. Simons, the usual eighth-inning setup man, has a 4.50 ERA in 16 innings in 11 games.

In his place will be Zach Samuels, who was recalled two days after being sent to Lakeland. Samuels has yet to allow a run for the SeaWolves in five innings in a pair of outings.

In addition, relief pitcher Ramon Garcia was also called up to Toledo.

Notes: C.J. Cron, son of Erie manager Chris Cron, was drafted 17th overall by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Monday night. CJ Cron, 21, hit .434 with 15 home runs for University of Utah in 2011. However, the 6-foot 4-inch first baseman will likely need surgery to repair a tear in his right shoulder… Outfielder Justin Henry continues his tear at the plate. Henry ranks second in the Eastern League with a .438 on-base percentage, and is in the top ten in average, with a .333 clip.

The Week Ahead The SeaWolves will embark on a six-game roadtrip, during which time they will take on the Altoona Curve and New Britain Rock Cats in three-game series.


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