TigsTown MLN: 'Wolves Streaking at Home

After spending 10 days on the road the Erie SeaWolves finally returned home on Friday to meet the Harrisburg Senators. The 'Wolves were a meager 3-7 on their longest road trip of the season, winning only once in each of their three series. Plus, Wilkin Ramirez had a big week at the plate and in the news.

After dropping the first three games against Trenton they managed to complete the road trip with a 6-1 victory, their first in eight tries against Trenton. The SeaWolves completed the week with a series sweep over the visiting Harrisburg Senators. It was the 'Wolves first series sweep since sweeping Reading on May 27-29 and it was the third consecutive series win at home. "It's nice to string some wins together because it helps build confidence" SeaWolves manager Tom Brookens said.

SeaWolves left fielder Wilkin Ramirez was the only member of the Tigers organization that was selected for the Futures game that will be played on Sunday July 13 at Yankee Stadium and will be televised on ESPN 2. Ramirez is the eighth member of the Erie SeaWolves that has been selected to the Futures game since their affiliation with Detroit began in 2001. The other SeaWolves to play in the Futures game are Mike Rivera (World-'01), Preston Larrison (U.S.- '03), Wilfredo Ledezma (World-'04), Joel Zumaya and Justin Verlander (U.S.-'05), Humberto Sanchez (World-'06) and Cameron Maybin (U.S.-'07). "Everybody is excited, my family is excited, I'm excited" Ramirez said, "Playing in the Futures game is huge for me" he added.

Ramirez has been showcasing his talent since he received the news of being selected to the Futures game on Thursday. In the four games since he learned of the honor he is 7-for-16 with three home runs including two towering shots on the roof of the neighboring Tullio Arena on Saturday night. In addition he has hit two triples and has four runs scored and four RBI. He has also showed his versatility by moving back to third base due to injuries to both Caonabo Cosme and shortstop Danny Worth. In his only game at third base since 2005 he made eight plays including a diving stop in the second inning to get a force out at second base.

Ryan Roberson has been tearing up the Eastern League since his return from Toledo on June 14. He had a league high 19 game hit streak come to an end in a 2-1 win over Harrisburg on Friday night. He had hit safely in his first 12 games, and has hits in 14 out 15 games since his return. He has raised his batting average to .278 and he is tied with Dusty Ryan for the team lead in home runs with 12 and RBI with 38.

With the injuries to Cosme and Worth the SeaWolves called up infielder Shawn Roof from Lakeland. He came in and made an immediate impact on the SeaWolves lineup going 4-for-8 with two runs scored and and a RBI. He was 1-for-4 in his Double A debut on Saturday and he followed that up with an impressive 3-for-4 performance on Sunday. He has been playing shortstop in the absence of Worth and will continue to play there until Worth is ready. In addition to his work at the plate he also turned two double plays along with second-baseman Will Rhymes.

Lucas French had one of his strongest outings of the season in the 2-1 victory Thursday. He pitched eight solid innings allowing seven hits and one earned run on a solo home run to left field. It was only his second win in his last six starts and his best performance since a 7-1 victory at Akron on May 25. He tied a season high by last eight innings, he hadn't lasted eight innings since allowing seven hits and one run and earning a no decision in a 4-3 loss to Harrisburg on May 9. He leads the SeaWolves pitching staff with 100 innings pitched and he is 5-7 with a 4.50 ERA in 15 starts.

Danny Christensen followed up his Pitcher of the Week honors with two solid starts. He helped the 'Wolves earn a victory in the fourth and final game of a series in Trenton. He pitched eight innings and allowed only five hits and one earned run against the Northern Division leading Trenton Thunder. Christensen is 5-1 in last seven starts and he has allowed more than two runs only once since May 24.

The SeaWolves have received good starting pitching all season long but the bullpen has been inconsistent. They had a couple of good performances this past week from a number of guys including Casey Fien who has solidified his role as the closer. Fien earned saves in two consecutive games this week giving him eight on the season. He has not allowed a run in 11 appearances in the month of June and he has earned five of his eight saves in that time period.

It hasn't been just Fien that has been pitching well out of the bullpen as of late, in the final two games against Harrisburg the bullpen combined for seven innings pitched and allowed only two hits and no earned runs. Juan Cedeno earned his second victory in the last 10 days pitching 1 1/3 innings on Saturday night without allowing a hit.

The SeaWolves will continue their seven game home stand on Monday when they welcome the Akron Aeros to Jerry Uht Park for a four game series. The SeaWolves are 3-4 against Akron this season but this will be the first time the Aeros come to Erie. After completing the four game series with Akron the 'Wolves will head back on the road for a seven game road trip that will begin Friday at Bowie. The 'Wolves swept their season opening series in Bowie and than they were swept in Bowie in May. This will be their final trip to Bowie this season.

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