Erie MLN: 'Wolves Winning Amidst Roster Moves

The 2010 Erie SeaWolves have been a team of ups-and-downs; right now they are riding high again. In the last week Erie has gone 4-3, including completion of a suspended game against the Trenton Thunder. Although they still are in the basement of the Eastern League Western Division they trail second-place Bowie by just 5 games for the second playoff spot.

Erie (31-40) entered the week in desperate need of some wins. The ‘Wolves have been streaky on the year, and just ended their third eight-game losing streak of the season after defeating the Portland Sea Dogs 9-3, on Wednesday, June 16. It was Erie's only victory of the past week.

This week was a different story for Erie. The ‘Wolves won their series against the Sea Dogs (36-34), taking the final game of the three game series thanks to a masterful performance by starter Brooks Brown.

Erie carried the momentum of the Portland series to New Hampshire, winning their second straight series, taking 2-of-3 from the Fisher Cats (43-29).

The ‘Wolves dropped the first game, but got on track thanks to starter Andy Oliver's effective 6 2/3 innings of work. Oliver allowed two runs (one earned) and struck out six.

Duane Below (TigsTown's No. 49 prospect) picked up his third win of the season in the ‘Wolves 13-6 win. It was Below's first win since May 7, against the Altoona Curve (47-24). The left-hander surrendered four runs, but struck out five.

Eastern League Pitcher of the Week

Erie starter Brooks Brown (5-4, 3.53) continued his recent excellent pitching. Against Portland on June 20, Brown pitched Erie's first complete game of the season. The right-hander struck out five, and limited the Sea Dogs to just five hits. He allowed only one run in the game on his way to his fourth win of the season.

Since moving into the starting rotation Brown is 2-3, with a 3.72 ERA.

Brown built on his Pitcher of the Week award in his next game. Erie resumed a game from May 27, which was suspended against the Trenton Thunder. Brown was the original starter in the game and got the opportunity to finish what he started.

The right-hander finished with his second straight complete game, working the final six innings. Brown threw the first three innings of the game nearly a month ago. He finished with nine strikeouts in the ‘Wolves 8-2 victory.

"It's the longest complete game I've ever had, 30 days in between before finishing it," said Brown.

Brown success is what the Erie rotation needs with the recent promotion of Andy Oliver to the Tigers.

"I'm around the strike zone more, and keeping the ball down," Brown said. "It's allowed me to be more effective."

He has worked hard to strengthen his arm and build his innings.

"I'm where the other starters are at now (120 pitches)," said Brown.

Welcome to the Show

Players dream of making it to the big leagues, but few actually get there. TigsTown's No. 9 prospect, left-hander Andy Oliver's dream will come true on Friday, against the Atlanta Braves.

"It's awesome, this is something that I've always dreamed of," Oliver said.

Last year's second-round pick has made a quick rise through the system considering he did not play professionally last year. He was 6-4, with a 3.61 ERA for the SeaWolves.

"I didn't think it would happen this quick," said Oliver. "But to be honest I really didn't focus on it."

"I went out there and worked on my stuff and let things happen from there."

The Tigers can expect a poised 22-year-old to take the mound.

"I'm sure there will be butterflies, but that is to be expected," said Oliver.

Bishop, Carrithers, Kaiser Oh My!

The Tigers made some recent moves promoting infielders Rawley Bishop and Alden Carrithers, along with outfielder Kody Kaiser.

All three made their debuts with the SeaWolves on Wednesday. Only Bishop really made an immediate impact. The first baseman hit a solo home run high off the Erie Civic Center.

At the time of the call-up Bishop was tied for the team lead in home runs with six at Lakeland. He also was the team leader in RBIs with 42, while carrying a .301 batting average.

Carrithers comes to Erie after leading all of the Tigers minor league teams with a .359 batting average entering Wednesday's game. The second baseman is also tops with a .464 on-base-percentage.

Kaiser was second on the Lakeland roster with a .325 batting average. He provides some pop in his bat, producing five home runs.

All three players look to help jump-start an inconsistent Erie offense.

Quick Hits

- Andy Dirks (TigsTown's No. 47 prospect) has been on a tear recently batting .390 (16-for-41), raising his batting average to .289 on the season. Dirks has batted in either the lead off or third position for most of the season. Dirks offense is not the only thing he brings to the game. The outfielder can play all three positions and although he does not possess the strongest arm he does lead the Eastern League in outfield assists with 14.

- Former SeaWolves Andy Oliver and Wilkin Ramirez were chosen to participate in the Futures Game over All-Star Weekend. It will be the second time that Ramirez has been chosen to participate.

- After the ‘Wolves conclude their series with Trenton on Thursday, Erie will welcomes the Richmond Flying Squirrels to Jerry Uht Park for a three game series starting on Friday. Richmond is 33-39 on the season. After the Richmond series Erie travels to Bowie for a scheduled three game series plus the conclusion of a suspended game from June 6.

- Erie is carrying an eight-game home losing streak. They are 12-20 at home on the season and 19-20 on the road.

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