TigsTown MLN: Erie Still Skidding Away

It is not a secret that the Erie SeaWolves have been struggling with consistency all season, but things have gone from bad to worse. The SeaWolves salvaged a win in the last game of their most recent road trip to end their season long 12 game losing streak. The most recent skid has dropped the SeaWolves into last place in the Southern division, 11 games behind Harrisburg, and 10 games below .500.

The biggest problem for the SeaWolves offense has been getting runners on base. In a three game series in Bowie they managed only four runs and 17 hits. All four runs the 'Wolves scored in the series came via a solo home run. Dusty Ryan, Ryan Roberson and Jeff Frazier hit home runs in game one while Wilkin Ramirez hit his ninth of the season in game two. The 'Wolves seemed to lack patience at the plate walking only seven times compared to 32 strikeouts in three games.

The offense is finally showing signs of coming out of their funk. In the final two games of the road trip they scored 15 runs with 25 hits and they finally snapped their 12 game losing streak with a 10-5 victory on Sunday at Binghamton. Will Rhymes and Max St. Pierre both had three hits on Sunday and five 'Wolves hitters had multi-hit games.

The offense is coming around at the right time for the 'Wolves because they are finally receiving good pitching. Luis Marte made his first start since being called up from Lakeland and he pitched well despite the no decision. Marte pitched eight solid innings and he allowed only four hits and one earned run. Marte will make his first home start at Jerry Uht Park on Monday against the Bowie Baysox. Luke French also had a great start in Bowie but a lack of offensive support dropped his record to 2-3. French pitched seven innings and allowed only seven hits and two earned runs in the loss.

Andrew Kown rejoined the starting rotation after being sent to the bullpen last week. He pitched 4 2/3 innings and allowed only four hits and one earned run in a 2-0 loss to Binghamton in game one of Saturday's doubleheader. Kown is expected to stay in the rotation while Josh Rainwater and Ben Fritz recover from injuries. He has made seven starts for Erie and he 2-4 with a 5.82 ERA.

The 'Wolves bullpen lost games on Tuesday and Wednesday but they have also improved. On Sunday the bullpen combined for six scoreless innings allowing the 'Wolves to break their losing streak. Angelo Castro made his first appearance since being called up from Lakeland and he earned his first victory after pitching two scoreless innings allowing only one hit.

The 'Wolves will return home for a four game series with the Bowie Baysox beginning on Monday. There should be a big crowd on hand for the SeaWolves Monday night buck night where fans get tickets for $3 and can enjoy ballpark favorites from the concession stands for only $1. It will be the first time Erie will welcome Bowie to Jerry Uht Park after playing seven times in Bowie. The 'Wolves still lead the season series 4-3 because of their four game sweep to open the season back in April.

The SeaWolves will head to Akron, after the series with Bowie, for a four game series with the Aeros. It will be the second time the 'Wolves will play in Akron losing two of three on the first trip. The 'Wolves were outscored 18-13 the last time in Akron with the only victory an 8-4 win in game one of the series. The Aeros beat the 'Wolves three games to one in last years Eastern League Playoffs.

News and Notes:Plenty of roster activity since our last update, as Angel Castro replacing an ailing Ben Fritz on the Erie roster; joining the team after some strong relief innings at High-A Lakeland. Replacing Castro on the LFT roster was Guillermo Moscoso, who returned from the disabled list with shoulder tendinitis. Moscoso made his season debut over the weekend, after skippinng West Michigan due to a dominating season at Oneonta in 2007. Rounding out the moves, Jordan Newton was activated from the disabled list, and Marc McBratney was sent down to extended spring training. Newton's return, and the retention of two additional catchers, could mean the end of Jordan's trials behind the plate.

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