Erie MLN: Back to .500

After several trials and tribulations, the Erie SeaWolves have gotten back to .500. The SeaWolves registered a 4-3 record in the last week to even their season mark to 34-34.

Erie two out of three in a series with the Portland Sea Dogs at home, before salvaging a single win in a three-game set against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. The SeaWolves then kicked off their road trip with a 5-3 12-inning win over the Reading Phillies on the road Monday night.

Banged Up

The SeaWolves finally made it back to the even mark, but have also had to a pay a price with injuries. In the past week, the SeaWolves saw four key players sustain injuries that cost them time.

The first and perhaps most significant injury occurred to pitcher Casey Crosby, who was placed on the 7-day disabled list after straining his left rotator cuff in his start in Erie's 5-4 loss Tuesday.

Crosby, a 22-year-old left hander, once again fell victim to the injury bug, after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2008, and another elbow surgery in 2010.

In 2009, his only injury-free season, Crosby posted a 10-4 record along with a 2.41 ERA in 24 starts at Western Michigan.

This year, however, Crosby has enjoyed a bounce-back season. He currently possesses a 4-2 record with a 3.32 ERA.

Second baseman Brandon Douglas injured his left knee during a double-play attempt in New Hampshire's 5-4 win Friday night. Though no decision has been made, Douglas has not played since.

Douglas, a perennial .300 hitter, has finally picked it up at the plate, and is hitting nearly .350 in his last 10 games. He carries a .255 average on the season.

Catcher John Murrian also landed on the 7-day DL, after he pulled his hamstring in Saturday's 14-1 loss. Murrian, who was splitting time with Bryan Holaday behind the plate, was replaced by Jeff Kunkel, who was recalled from Lakeland.

Finally, shortstop Audy Ciriaco found himself on the shelf after straining an oblique muscle in Erie's 3-1 win over New Hampshire Sunday. A decision is yet to be made on the 23-year-old, who is batting .243.

Heating Up

With all the Wolves' injuries, Erie's remaining players need to remain on the top of their game if they are to pick up the slack. Two of these players are Michael Rockett and Francisco Martinez.

Since being promoted from Single-A Lakeland, Rockett, 23, has been tearing the cover off the ball. In 19 games, Rockett maintains a .338 average. Rockett's presence has provided a substantial boost considering he was hitting just .261 in 19 games for the White Caps.

Martinez has made himself into one of Erie's most feared hitters. The third baseman is hitting .349 since May 1st, and has raised his average from .179 to .296 in that time.

The 20-year-old seems to also be finding his power stroke. After not recording more than three home runs in each of his first three minor league seasons, Martinez leads Erie with seven home runs and 31 RBIs.

Strange Occurrences

The SeaWolves saw their fair share of out of the ordinary events in the past week. The madness started when Rawley Bishop's 10-foot sacrifice bunt in the eighth-inning Thursday turned into a 360-foot mad dash around the bases. Martinez and Bishop scored the decisive runs on the play thanks to a pair of New Hampshire errors in the 6-4 game.

The SeaWolves were on the other end of a bizarre sequence of events in their 14-1 loss Saturday night. After grazing Hampshire's Travis d'Arnaud with his first pitch.

Umpire Joey Amaral tossed Simons because he felt d'Arnaud was hit in retaliation for his slide that injured SeaWolves second baseman Brandon Douglas during Friday's game. Manager Chris Cron then argued the call and was subsequently tossed.

However, the Wolves made the best of the situation when Sunday, when reliever Ramon Garcia put together an impressive performance in a spot start.

Garcia started in place of the injured Crosby, and went six strong innings, allowing just one run. Garcia had a nearly six ERA coming into the game.

The Week Ahead

The SeaWolves will continue their series with Reading by playing 7:05 p.m. starts each of the next three days, before traveling to Richmond for a three-game set Friday.

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