TigsTown MLN: SeaWolves Streaking in August

The Erie SeaWolves remain 15 games behind the Akron Aeros for first place in the Eastern League Southern Division but they are certainly the hottest team in the entire league. The SeaWolves completed a four-game sweep of the Reading Phillies on Sunday, improving their winning streak to a season best six games.

The 'Wolves completed a home stand by taking the final two games of a three game set against Harrisburg before traveling to Reading. The streaking 'Wolves have also won nine of their last 10 contests.

It has been a combination of good pitching and offense that has allowed the SeaWolves to go on their recent tear. In their seven games this week the SeaWolves outscored their opponents 62-23 and they hit 21 home runs in that time. On Thursday the SeaWolves offense hit full gear scoring 15 runs in a 15-3 victory against Reading. It was the first time the SeaWolves have scored 15 runs in a game was May 1, 2005 in a 15-6 win against the Binghamton Mets.

Wilkin Ramirez has been one of the biggest contributors to the 'Wolves offense since opening day and that trend continued this week. In four games at Reading this week Wilkin Ramirez unleashed for four home runs including two in a 14-2 win on Friday. Ramirez was 10-for-19 with four home runs and eight RBI in the four game series. He has hit at least one home run in his last three games played. Ramirez is near the top in every offensive category for the SeaWolves. He is tied for second in doubles with 19, he's tied with Will Rhymes for the team lead in triples with seven, his 19 home runs and 67 RBI trail only Ryan Roberson who has 22 home runs and 71 RBI.

The SeaWolves have seen changes at the top of their lineup all season because of players earning promotions to Toledo. Freddy Guzman began the season hitting in the top spot and Max Leon filled that role as well. Over the past couple of months Will Rhymes has been a mainstay at the top of the SeaWolves order. Rhymes has quietly pulled his average up to .300 and is probably the most consistent hitter in the 'Wolves lineup. "He's stepped his game up and right now he's swinging and playing as good as I've seen him play" SeaWolves manager Tom Brookens said.

Casper Wells continues to pound the ball at a record pace. He now has 12 home runs and 40 RBI in 56 games played with Erie. The SeaWolves outfielder is hitting .405 in his last 10 games and he has five home runs and 14 RBI in that time. On Tuesday Wells hit three home runs in an 11-2 win over the visiting Harrisburg Senators. "The ball must look like a balloon to him right now" Tom Brookens said.

In addition to Wells there are other players that have been called upon to produce and they have responded to the opportunity. Santo DeLeon has become the everyday third baseman since Kody Kirkland was called up to Toledo and he is hitting .309, which ties him with Wilkin Ramirez for the best batting average on the team. Caonabo Cosme has played a lot of games at shortstop since returning off the disabled list when Danny Worth was called up to Toledo. He has responded and is hitting .341 in his last 10 games including tying a season-best with a five game hitting streak. Highly touted catching prospect James Skelton has struggled to adjust to Double-A since being called up on July 31 to replace Dusty Ryan, who was called up to Toledo. Skelton is hitting only .185 but he hit his first Double-A home run on Wednesday and had a five game hitting streak broken after going 0-for-5 on Sunday.

Luke French has been one of the SeaWolves best pitchers recently but he had not earned a victory since June 27. "He's had some real tough luck but to his credit he hangs in there" ex-major leaguer Tom Brookens said, adding "I like his arm and the organization likes him a lot so he has a real shot at pitching in the major leagues someday". French is just 6-11 on the season but he has only a 4.08 ERA and he is second on the team with 74 strikeouts. In his last 10 starts he is only 2-4 but he has just a 3.06 ERA in 64 2/3 innings.

As good as French has been recently, nobody has pitched better than Guillermo Moscoso the past two weeks. Moscoso made his second start of the season this week and he lasted six innings and allowed only two earned runs while striking out nine and walking none. In his two starts since joining the SeaWolves he is 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA and one walk with 19 strikeouts.

The SeaWolves will enjoy their first day off since the all-star break on Monday before welcoming the New Britain Rock Cats to Erie for the first time this season. It will be the first time the SeaWolves and Rock Cats will meet this season. After completing a three-game series with the Rock Cats the 'Wolves will welcome the Connecticut Defenders to Jerry Uht Park for the first time this season. The 'Wolves are expected to start RHP Luis Marte (2-2, 5.79 ERA) on Tuesday, Josh Rainwater (9-5, 3.99 ERA) will start on Wednesday and Guillermo Moscoso will make his third Double-A start on Thursday.

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