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Erie Seawolves News Articles 2010

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SeaWolves lose wild one to Phillies

By MIKE COPPER

mike.copper@timesnews.com

In a game that included a 70-minute sixth inning, the Reading Phillies outlasted the Erie SeaWolves for a wild and lengthy 12-9 victory Tuesday night at Jerry Uht Park.

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Most in the original crowd of 2,245 were gone by the time Erie catcher Jeff Kunkel bounced out to Reading second baseman Harold Garcia to end the three-hour, 50 minute game. The SeaWolves lost their sixth straight in a game that saw the teams combine for 23 hits, five home runs and 16 walks.

The bizarre game also saw a first-inning intentional walk; a fielding error changed to a ground-rule double by the scorekeeper; multiple runners caught stealing, picked off or tagged out in rundowns; and two shoestring catches by Erie outfielders.

All that, however, was a prelude to the marathon sixth inning. The Phillies (47-48) never trailed after they sent 13 batters to the plate against three Erie pitchers.

Their first five were off SeaWolves starter Anthony Shawler (1-2), who gave up home runs to Rich Thompson and Matt Rizzotti.

When it was over, Reading led 10-6 after scoring eight runs on seven hits. Thompson scored twice during the visitors' binge and Michael Spidale singled twice, drove in two runs and scored another.

The SeaWolves (38-59) countered with another rally in their half of the sixth, although they still trailed 10-9 when it was over.

Jeff Kunkel, in his first home game since returning to Erie's roster last weekend, led off with a homer against Reading's Chance Chapman (1-1). The Phillies reliever proceeded to walk the bases loaded before John Ennis replaced him.

Ennis, a former major leaguer who also pitched for the SeaWolves in 2006, forced in Erie's last two runs with two-out walks to Rawley Bishop and Deik Scram.

However, he struck out Kody Kaiser as the SeaWolves' ninth batter.

In all, the sixth inning saw 113 pitches thrown to 23 batters. There were three pitching changes and seven visits to the mound by Erie manager Phil Nevin, Reading manager Steve Roadcap or their pitching coaches.

The Phillies added insurance runs in the eighth and ninth with solo homers by Freddy Galvis and Tuffy Gosewisch.

They were the third and fourth homers for Reading, which also saw Rizzotti hit his team-leading 15th in the sixth.

Michael Bertram led Erie with three hits and upped his team lead in RBIs to 50. Bertram drove in the SeaWolves' initial run in the first and lined a two-run double off Reading starter J.C. Ramirez in the bottom of the fifth.

Erie led 6-2 after that inning.

Scram also drove in three for the SeaWolves, who will try to salvage the final game of the three-game series today.

GoErie.com: Baseball: Erie SeaWolves - SeaWolves lose wild one to Phillies

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SeaWolves beat Phillies, snap 6-game losing streak

By MIKE COPPER

mike.copper@timesnews.com

Even in victory, the Erie SeaWolves still were hurting Wednesday.

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The SeaWolves ended a six-game losing streak with a 4-1 win over the Reading Phillies at Jerry Uht Park. A crowd of 2,788 saw them victorious for the first time since July 12, the day before the Eastern League's All-Star break.

Erie, though, was hampered by injuries to two regulars shortly before and after Brooks Brown threw the game's first pitch.

Center fielder Andy Dirks was a late scratch on manager Phil Nevin's lineup card because of a shoulder injury he suffered in Tuesday's wild 12-9 loss to the Phillies. Wednesday was only the second game Dirks missed this season.

Nevin pronounced the All-Star outfielder probable for this weekend's four-game series at Binghamton.

Not so for Michael Bertram. Erie (39-59) needed a new left fielder when he aggravated a lower back problem while running out a first-inning double.

"We're going to have to reevaluate him because he's in a lot of pain right now," Nevin said of Bertram. "He'd been a little sore, but played through it for a few days. He was going to have (Thursday and Friday's games) off, anyway."

Bertram's departure forced Nevin to shuffle Erie's lineup a second time. Shawn Roof was inserted as a pinch-runner and then took over at second base in the second inning.

Alden Carrithers shifted from second base to left for Bertram. He returned to Erie's active roster after a team-imposed, four-game suspension for an off-the-field incident last weekend at Akron.

"It's great to be back, man," said Carrithers, who declined to comment on his suspension. "I know we have to start winning, so hopefully we'll do well on the road this weekend."

Audy Ciriaco and Jeff Kunkel were two SeaWolves who did very well Wednesday.

Ciriaco drove in three runs with a solo home run and a two-run double. The latter was with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning, one batter after Rawley Bishop reached on a fielder's choice grounder to Reading second baseman Harold Garcia.

Cale Iorg advanced to third on the play and Roof was easily forced out at second. However, the Phillies (47-49) argued that Bishop also should have been called out on runner's interference when Roof caused shortstop Freddy Galvis to double clutch on his relay throw to first.

Ciriaco then gave Erie its three-run lead with his double off Reading reliever Tyson Brummett that scored Cale Iorg, who walked to lead off the seventh, and Bishop. Reading manager Steve Roadcap went to the mound to replace Brummett, but was ejected for continuing to argue the previous play.

Kunkel accounted for the SeaWolves' fourth RBI when the second of his four singles scored Scram for a 2-0 lead in the fourth. It was the first four-hit game for Kunkel, who wore a No. 44 jersey instead of his customary No. 37 during the series.

"I had some good at-bats and was able to put the ball in play," the catcher said. "I had some good at-bats (Tuesday) too."

Brown claimed his team-leading eighth victory. Brown (8-6), the only Erie starter with a winning record, allowed seven hits over seven innings.

Brown allowed Reading's lone run in the sixth when Kevin Nelson scored from third on a Garcia single

GoErie.com: Baseball: Erie SeaWolves - SeaWolves beat Phillies, snap 6-game losing streak

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B-Mets hand Villarreal loss in Double-A debut for SeaWolves

From staff reports

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -- Erie SeaWolves starter Brayan Villarreal was good in his Double-A debut Thursday night.

Binghamton's Josh Stinson, though, was better.

Stinson and Villarreal were on relatively even terms through the first six innings at NYSEG Stadium. That changed in the bottom of the seventh, when the Mets scored their go-ahead run off Villarreal en route to a 3-1 victory.

A crowd of 3,665 watched Binghamton (51-48) end a four-game losing streak, while Erie dropped to 39-60.

The score was a 1-all tie when Joshua Satin and Marshall Hubbard each doubled to start Binghamton's half of the seventh. Satin lined his double off Villarreal (0-1), who was immediately replaced by Josh Rainwater.

Hubbard added insurance when he scored on Brahiam Maldonado's two-out triple.

Villarreal, 23, allowed four hits and two earned runs in his inaugural effort for the SeaWolves. The Venezuelan right-hander walked three and struck out five.

Erie scored its lone run in the sixth. Cesar Nicolas trotted home from third when Stinson (8-1) was wild on his pickoff attempt of Rawley Bishop at first.

The SeaWolves outhit the Mets 9-7 but negated that advantage by hitting into four double plays.

Erie was without Michael Bertram, who was placed on the seven- day disabled list with a strained lower back.

Bertram's roster spot was filled by outfielder Chris White, who was called up from Single-A Lakeland (Fla.) on Thursday

GoErie.com: Baseball: Erie SeaWolves - B-Mets hand Villarreal loss in Double-A debut for SeaWolves

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Weber's gem leads SeaWolves over B-Mets

From staff reports

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -- Thad Weber threw more than 100 pitches in the Erie SeaWolves' 100th game Friday night.

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His performance, though, had the team feeling like a million.

Weber, the Eastern League leader in innings pitched, went the distance in a 2-1 victory over the Binghamton Mets. The right-hander allowed four hits, no walks and struck out four before 2,331 at NYSEG Stadium.

Erie (40-60) was victorious at Binghamton for the first time in five games this season, while the Mets dropped to 51-49 while falling for the fifth time in six games.

Weber's complete game upped his season total to 1331/3 innings. He joined Brooks Brown (three complete games) as the only Erie pitchers who haven't required help from the bullpen this season.

Friday also marked the first complete game for Weber (7-10) since he no-hit the Akron Aeros 16-0 on Aug. 22.

The teams were tied after five innings thanks to solo home runs from Erie's Chris White and Binghamton's Nick Evans. White's homer in the top of the third was his first hit for the SeaWolves since his promotion from Single-A Lakeland (Fla.) on Thursday.

The SeaWolves got their go-ahead run in the sixth after loading the bases off Mets starter Mark Cohoon (1-3). Shawn Roof scored when Kody Kaiser grounded a one-out single to right.

Manuel Alvarez relieved Cohoon at that point and prevented further damage with the bases still loaded when he retired Erie's Andy Bouchie on a pop-up and then struck out White.

Binghamton recorded two of its four hits after the SeaWolves took the lead, but Weber never encountered serious trouble over the late innings. Earlier, he retired 12 straight Mets after Evans hit his 17th homer.

Weber has lasted at least five innings in each of his 20 starts.

Erie won even though it only managed five hits, all off Cohoon. White had two of them in his second straight start for center fielder Andy Dirks, who missed his third straight game with an injured shoulder.

GoErie.com: Baseball: Erie SeaWolves - Weber's gem leads SeaWolves over B-Mets

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Bad start sets tone in SeaWolves' loss to Mets

From staff reports

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -- Just about everything that could go wrong did go wrong in the first inning of the Erie SeaWolves' Eastern League matchup with Binghamton on Saturday night.

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The host Mets took advantage of two bases-loaded walks, a balk and three wild pitches to score six of their eight first-inning runs en route to a 13-8 victory over the SeaWolves at NYSEG Stadium.

All told, Erie starter Duane Below and reliever Cory Hamilton combined to walk half of the 12 Mets' hitters who came to the plate in the first inning.

GoErie.com: Baseball: Erie SeaWolves - Bad start sets tone in SeaWolves' loss to Mets

Below walked the Mets' first batter then surrendered a single and a double before retiring a hitter. Then Below uncorked a wild pitch that scored a run and then balked home another run. Below followed that by serving up a home run to Sean Ratliff, making it 4-0.

After recording just two outs, Below was replaced by Hamilton, who walked three batters in a row, allowing two more runs to score. Hamilton then unleashed two wild pitches that brought home two more runs to make it 8-0.

The SeaWolves cut the deficit to 8-3 in the second on Christopher White's three-run homer.

Erie made it 8-6 with three more in the third.

The Mets regained their five-run lead in the bottom of the inning on Kirk Nieuwenhuis' three-run homer. Nieuwenhuis went 3-for-5 with four RBIs.

Alden Carrithers' two-run single in the fifth pulled Erie to within three runs, 11-8, but the Mets added two more in the sixth.

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SeaWolves beat Mets, get split in series

From staff reports

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -- The Erie SeaWolves earned a series split with the Binghamton Mets on Sunday after three pitchers combined to hold the Mets to just four hits in a 4-1 win in front of 1,782 at NYSEG Stadium.

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Starter Anthony Shawler pitched a season-high seven innings and allowed just three hits and one run while striking out six. Zach Simons pitched a scoreless eighth inning before Lester Oliveros struck out the side in the ninth to secure the win for the SeaWolves.

Deik Scram hit a leadoff double in the fifth inning and scored two batters later on a single by Andy Bouchie to give the SeaWolves a 1-0 lead.

Bouchie later hit a solo home run off Binghamton reliever Eric Niesen in the top of the seventh inning to extend the lead to 2-0.

Shawler (2-2) faced his toughest test of the game later in the seventh inning when Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Josh Satin hit back-to-back doubles to pull the Mets within one run. Shawler retired the next two batters to preserve the lead.

Rawley Bishop added a two-run home run in the eighth for Erie. Scram and Bouchie each had two hits.

Binghamton dropped to 52-50.

The SeaWolves (41-61) will host the Altoona Curve tonight at 7:05 at Jerry Uht Park.

Brooks Brown (8-6) is slated to take the mound for Erie against Jeff Locke (1-0).

GoErie.com: Baseball: Erie SeaWolves - SeaWolves beat Mets, get split in series

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Nicolas, Ciriaco sent to AAA

By MIKE COPPER

mike.copper@timesnews.com

The Erie SeaWolves felt the fallout from injuries to the parent Detroit Tigers on Monday.

Detroit starters Magglio Ordonez and Carlos Guillen joined third baseman Brandon Inge on the 15-day disabled list over the weekend, with Ordonez expected to be out six to eight weeks with a fractured ankle. That caused the domino effect of transactions within the team's minor-league system.

Taking over for Ordonez and Guillen were former SeaWolves Jeff Larish and Will Rhymes, who had their contracts with Triple-A Toledo purchased by the Tigers. Filling those voids on the Mud Hens will be Erie infielders Cesar Nicolas and Audy Ciriaco.

It's the first career Triple-A assignment for Nicolas, 28, who leads Erie in batting average (.279), on-base percentage (.377) and slugging percentage (.443). He began his professional career in 2004, when the Arizona Diamondbacks selected him in the fifth round of the amateur draft.

Ciriaco, 23, played seven games for Toledo at the end of 2009. He started this season with the SeaWolves and switched positions from shortstop to third base.

Also headed back to the Mud Hens for the third time in 2010 was reliever Josh Rainwater.

Joining the SeaWolves for the seven-game homestand that began Monday night were pitcher Ramon Garcia and infielders Bryan Pounds and Billy Nowlin. Of that trio, Nowlin was the only one yet to wear an Erie uniform.

Nowlin, 23, received his initial Double-A promotion amid Monday's rash of moves. Detroit chose the Huntington Beach, Calif., native in the 25th round of the 2008 draft.

In 83 games for Single-A Lakeland (Fla.), Nowlin hit .262 with nine home runs and 45 runs batted in. He was listed as a designated hitter on the Flying Tigers' cumulative statistics.

GoErie.com: Baseball: Erie SeaWolves - Nicolas, Ciriaco sent to AAA

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9-run 8th lifts Curve past SeaWolves

By MIKE COPPER

mike.copper@timesnews.com

Monday's game at Jerry Uht Park featured a Christmas in July theme.

Only there were no jolly feelings for the Erie SeaWolves when it was over.

That's because Altoona was in a taking mood, especially in the top of the eighth inning. The Curve sent 13 batters to the plate while scoring nine runs in an 11-2 final before a Buck Night crowd of 5,153.

The SeaWolves dropped to 41-62 in the opener of their seven-game home stand, while the Curve improved to 59-42. The victory helped Altoona maintain its four-game lead over the Bowie Baysox in the Eastern League's Western Division standings.

Miles Durham hit a grand slam and Yung-Chi Chen a two-run home run during the Curve's eight-inning outburst, which also saw Eastern League All-Star Game MVP Chase d'Arnaud score twice in the inning.

Altoona's eruption broke open a 2-all tie going to the eighth.

"We battled hard," Erie outfielder Deik Scram said. "It's unfortunate that we had that one bad inning."

A huge inning by the opposition is a recent trend in what's been a trying season for Erie.

The Reading Phillies had 13 players account for eight runs in the sixth inning of their July 20 victory over the SeaWolves. On Saturday at Binghamton, Erie pitchers Duane Below and Cory Hamilton walked six of the 12 batters they faced in the Mets' eight-run first inning.

Monday saw the Curve outdo Reading and Binghamton with their nine-run binge. Altoona's first three batters in the eighth reached off Erie starter Brooks Brown (8-7), with Matt Hague's single driving in the go-ahead run.

Luis Marte relieved Brown, but the SeaWolves' right-hander fared even worse. After a sacrifice bunt, he sandwiched an intentional walk and hit-batter around three Curve hits, which included the homers by Durham and Chen.

Marte was ejected after hitting Josh Harrison, Altoona's ninth batter in the rally. Harrison later scored on a two-run throwing error by Matt Hoffman, Erie's third pitcher in the inning.

"One bad inning has been our downfall, especially here," Erie manager Phil Nevin said. "When we were gone (at Binghamton), our bullpen was really good."

The game was scoreless through four innings thanks to Brown and Altoona's Jeff Locke, who made his third Double-A start. Locke had an impressive outing, which included nine strikeouts over the first five innings.

The Curve finally got to Brown in the top of the fifth when Brandon Jones bounced a leadoff single up the middle and Chen lined a double to the gap in left-center field. Anthony Norman then made it 2-0 when he plated Chen with a one-out single to center.

The SeaWolves finally got to Locke with a mini-rally in the sixth. They tied the game with three hits and a hit-batsman, all with two outs.

Rawley Bishop and Scram had Erie's key hits with RBI singles to center. Bishop had two of the team's seven hits.

The SeaWolves played without outfielder Andy Dirks, who sat out his sixth straight game with a shoulder injury. Chris White, called up from Single-A Lakeland (Fla.) on Thursday, was 0-for-3 with a walk as Dirks' replacement in center field

GoErie.com: Baseball: Erie SeaWolves - 9-run 8th lifts Curve past SeaWolves

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SeaWolves win marathon game against Curve

By MIKE COPPER

mike.copper@timesnews.com

Tuesday night saw the Erie SeaWolves and the Altoona Curve play one of the longest scoreless games in Jerry Uht Park history.

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The 3-hour, 48-minute marathon, which featured a combined 33 strikeouts by eight pitchers, wasn't determined until the bottom of the 13th inning. That's when Cale Iorg crushed a one-out fastball from Altoona reliever Derek Hankins off the Tullio Arena facade in left-center field for a two-run home run and Erie's 2-0 victory.

"It's an amazing feeling," said Iorg, who was customarily mobbed by teammates after he jumped on home plate. "It doesn't get better than that on a baseball field. It was a lot of fun."

Many in the original crowd of 5,130 were gone by the time Iorg socked his sixth homer this season. It was the shortstop's third hit and only the third extra-base hit in the game.

Erie (42-62) recorded its first shutout victory at home after the team was blanked three previous times as a host.

The SeaWolves also won at home for the second time in extra innings this month. They outlasted Bowie 8-7 in 11 on July 5, a win that ended a 12-game losing streak at Uht Park.

Despite the loss, the Curve (59-43) maintained their four-game lead over Bowie atop the Eastern League's Western Division standings.

Chris White bounced out to third to lead off Erie's 11th, but Alden Carrithers followed with a one-out single to center.

Carrithers then stole second, where he led off as Iorg blasted a 1-2 fastball from Hankins (5-3).

"I was trying to get Alden over (to third) on a bunt," Iorg said, "but (Hankins) threw a fastball up and I hit it hard."

SeaWolves reliever Cory Hamilton (1-1) was the winner thanks to a scoreless 11th. Altoona's Anthony Norman singled and stole second with two outs in that inning, but was stranded when Erie left fielder Deik Scram made a shoestring catch of Chase d'Arnaud's sinking liner.

The game's dearth of offense was established by the starting pitchers, Erie newcomer Brayan Villarreal and Altoona's Bryan Morris. Each recorded two-hit shutouts over the first five innings.

Villarreal, in his second Double-A start, blanked the Curve for 72/3 innings. The Venezuelan right-hander only allowed four hits and struck out eight, which included four of Altoona's first six batters.

The Curve didn't post their first hit until Josh Harrison led off the top of the fourth with an infield single. Villarreal, though, still faced the minimum through that inning when he struck out Norman and induced a double-play grounder from d'Arnaud.

Two of Altoona's first three hits were infield singles, both by Harrison.

Altoona manager Matt Walbeck pulled Morris after five innings, even though the right-hander struck out eight.

Morris won his Double-A debut at Uht Park on May 21, when Altoona won 6-2.

Each team played minus a star outfielder. Erie's Andy Dirks missed his seventh straight game with a shoulder injury, while Altoona's Gorkys Hernandez sat out his second straight after getting plunked hard by a pitch Sunday at Trenton.

Today's 12:05 p.m. series finale will be Erie's last businessman's special this season.

GoErie.com: Baseball: Erie SeaWolves - SeaWolves win marathon game against Curve

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Ex-SeaWolves player Nicolas suspended for testing positive for amphetamines

By MIKE COPPER

mike.copper@timesnews.com

One day after his initial Triple-A promotion, former Erie SeaWolves infielder/designated hitter Cesar Nicolas was suspended 50 games for amphetamine use by the Office of Major League Baseball.

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Nicolas, 28, was one of four minor leaguers suspended Tuesday, according to milb.com. The others were shortstop Pedro Lopez of Triple-A Syracuse; Jose Acosta of the Pittsburgh Pirates' Venezuelan Summer League affiliate; and free agent Jorge Castillo.

On Monday, Nicolas and third baseman Audy Ciriaco were called up to the Toledo Mud Hens. Their promotions were made in conjunction with injuries to Detroit Tigers starters Magglio Ordonez and Carlos Guillen, whose roster spots were filled by former SeaWolves Will Rhymes and Jeff Larish.

The suspension meant Nicolas never set foot on Fifth Third Field, where the Mud Hens are hosting Pawtucket in an International League series.

When he departed, the former Vanderbilt University star had a team-high .279 average, plus seven home runs and 38 RBIs, in 70 games for Erie.

On June 12, Nicolas injured an oblique muscle in his final at-bat against New Hampshire at Jerry Uht Park.

He didn't return to the SeaWolves' active roster until July 17.

As a former fifth-round draft pick by the Arizona Diamondbacks, Nicolas was signed by the Tigers after playing for two independent league teams in 2009.

Tuesday's quartet meant that 64 minor leaguers have been suspended by the commissioner's office since the start of the 2010 season.

The news also came less than a week after Selig announced that minor league players would be subjected to random testing for human growth hormones.

GoErie.com: Baseball: Erie SeaWolves - Ex-SeaWolves player Nicolas suspended for testing positive for amphetamines

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Curve top SeaWolves

By MIKE COPPER

mike.copper@timesnews.com

Wednesday's getaway game at Jerry Uht Park got away early from the Erie SeaWolves.

An afternoon crowd of 3,618 watched the Altoona Curve beat Erie 6-3 in a matchup of the worst and best teams in the Eastern League's Western Division. The SeaWolves dropped to 42-63, while the Curve took the rubber game of the three-game series to improve to 60-43.

The teams scored the matinee's nine runs over the first three innings only hours after they played 12 scoreless innings Tuesday night. Erie finally won 2-0 that night on a Cale Iorg home run in the bottom of the 13th.

In the first inning Wednesday, Matt Hague and Miles Durham hit homers during the visitors' four-run battering of Erie starter Thad Weber (7-11).

The SeaWolves countered with two runs in their first swings against Altoona left-hander Justin Wilson (8-6), then scored again in the second when Shawn Roof's two-out bunt down the third-base line plated Chris White.

Altoona, though, scored two third-inning runs that turned out to be insurance. Durham added a sacrifice fly for his third RBI and Brandon Jones followed with a run-scoring double.

Curve leadoff hitter Chase d'Arnaud, the Eastern League All-Star Game MVP, finished with three hits and a walk.

His three hits were off Weber, who endured his worst outing in more than a month.

Weber departed after he allowed Altoona's six runs and eight of its nine hits over six innings. The right-hander still leads the league in innings pitched with 1391/3.

"I can take a little solace in that," Weber said, "but there comes a point where just throwing innings is (trivial). Not that it's getting old, because that's my job. But I want them to be quality innings.

"Those two innings (Wednesday) weren't quality, and they cost us the game," he said.

Wilson and Curve reliever Tom Boleska limited Erie to one hit and two walks over the final six innings.

Kody Kaiser lined a one- out double in the bottom of the sixth but was caught stealing third.

Roof's bunt single was one of the SeaWolves' six hits. After the game, the second baseman was called up to the Triple-A Toledo Mud Hens to fill a roster spot vacated by Tuesday's suspension of former Erie slugger Cesar Nicolas.

The Office of Major League Baseball ruled Nicolas, whom the Detroit Tigers promoted to from Erie to Toledo on Monday, must miss 50 games for amphetamine use.

GoErie.com: Baseball: Erie SeaWolves - Curve top SeaWolves

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Nevin questions Nicolas' punishment

By MIKE COPPER

mike.copper@timesnews.com

Verbally, Erie SeaWolves manger Phil Nevin said little about Cesar Nicolas' 50-game suspension after Wednesday's game against Altoona.

What said volumes, though, was his physical demeanor as he discussed a player who was listed on his lineup card as recently as Sunday.

Nicolas, 28, was called up to Triple-A Toledo on Monday.

It was the highest promotion in the former Vanderbilt University star's six-year professional career, a career that was significantly put on hold Tuesday.

Nicolas was one of four minor league players who were suspended 50 games by the Office of Major League Baseball. The infielder/designated hitter was cited for the illegal use of an amphetamine, a psycho stimulant drug.

Athletes can use such a drug in over-the-counter supplements or pharmaceuticals. However, they must be registered with the National Science Foundation and certified for sports.

A small poster warning the SeaWolves about such certifications is taped to a hallway wall outside Nevin's office. However, that didn't stop him from questioning Nicolas' punishment.

"I can't comment on it, except to say there's a flaw in the system," Nevin said. "It's a damn shame what happened to Cesar. This isn't a performance-enhancing deal ... at all."

Nicolas attempted to contact an Erie Times-News sports reporter through the SeaWolves on Wednesday. Calls to Nicolas' cell phone number were not immediately returned.

The suspension likely means Nicolas won't be eligible to return to the field, be it with Toledo, Erie or any other sanctioned franchise, until early in the 2011 baseball season.

Also sidelined until then were Pedro Lopez of the Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs, Jose Acosta of the Pittsburgh Pirates' Venezuelan Summer League affiliate, and free agent Jorge Castillo.

GoErie.com: Baseball: Erie SeaWolves - Nevin questions Nicolas' punishment

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Back-to-back blasts lift SeaWolves past Mets

By MIKE COPPER

mike.copper@timesnews.com

Billy Nowlin and Kody Kaiser gave Erie SeaWolves faithful something to bark about on bring-your-pet night at Jerry Uht Park.

Nowlin and Kaiser hit home runs on back-to-back pitches from Binghamton Mets reliever Eric Niesen in the bottom of the seventh inning. They were the first Double-A homers for the duo, who helped the SeaWolves to an 8-2 win.

A crowd of 2,717, which didn't count the dogs some fans brought to the game, watched Erie (43-63) claim the opener of a four-game series.

The loss dropped Binghamton back even at 53-53 in the Eastern League's Eastern Division.

Erie, which squandered big chances to tie or take the lead in the third and fourth innings, finally evened the score at 2-all in the sixth.

Nowlin and Kaiser also contributed at the plate in that inning, as each reached off Mets starter Chris Schwinden.

SeaWolves third baseman Bryan Pounds proceeded to single home Nowlin on the first pitch he saw from Binghamton reliever Eddie Kunz (5-6).

In the seventh, Brandon Douglas and Deik Scram were on base when Nowlin crushed a full-count fastball from Niesen onto the Tullio Arena walkway in deep left-center.

"It's a relief," Nowlin said of the homer. "It's a monkey off my back, and now I can go out there and relax."

Kaiser nearly matched Nowlin's distance with his blast.

In the eighth, Rawley Bishop made it a three-homer game off Niesen with a line-drive homer down the left-field line. It was the fifth homer for Erie's emerging first baseman.

SeaWolves reliever Cory Hamilton (2-1) was the winning pitcher for the second time in three games. Hamilton took over for left-hander Duane Below, who equaled his longest start this season at 52/3 innings.

Below allowed six hits, which included three doubles during Binghamton's two-run rally in third, but only walked one and struck out seven. By contrast, he gave up three hits, two walks and five earned runs in two-thirds of an inning Saturday at Binghamton.

The SeaWolves only had 23 players in their dugout thanks to outfielder Chris White's sudden call-up to Toledo on Thursday afternoon. White joined infielder Shawn Roof as Erie's second player to receive his initial Triple-A promotion within 24 hours.

Douglas was called up from Single-A Lakeland (Fla.) to replace Roof. Erie manager Phil Nevin immediately started him at second base, and he responded with three hits and two runs.

GoErie.com: Baseball: Erie SeaWolves - Back-to-back blasts lift SeaWolves past Mets

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SeaWolves outslug B-Mets

By MIKE COPPER

mike.copper@timesnews.com

For all the offense produced by the Erie SeaWolves and Binghamton Mets, a fielding error was the difference in Friday's marathon game at Jerry Uht Park.

That error, a dropped liner by Binghamton left fielder Sean Ratliff, allowed Erie's Bryan Pounds and Jeff Kunkel to score tie-breaking runs in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Lester Oliveros, the last of the SeaWolves' six pitchers, preserved their lead in an offense-laden 11-8 final.

Most of the sellout crowd of 5,237 watched the entire 3-hour, 54-minute game, which saw the teams combine for 19 runs and 26 hits. Those hits included four home runs, with the SeaWolves' Pounds slugging the biggest.

The third baseman's grand slam in the bottom of the second inning accounted for four of his eventual five RBIs.

Erie (44-63) assured itself at least a split of the four-game series, while the Mets dropped below the break-even mark at 53-54.

Pounds' performance at the plate was the best in his second stint with the SeaWolves this season. He became the third Erie player to drive in five runs in one game.

"He had some big games for us before he went back down to (Single-A) Lakeland," Erie manager Phil Nevin said, "but obviously he had the best night for us with the slam. That was huge for getting us back in the game."

The SeaWolves trailed 5-0 after Binghamton's first two at-bats. Pounds, though, got the hosts back in it with his bases-loaded homer to left field off Binghamton starter Mike Antonini.

Erie tied matters at 5-all an inning later, and then took a 7-5 lead in the bottom of the fourth on Cale Iorg's two-out, two-run double down the left-field line.

Iorg's double chased Antonini, who couldn't maintain the visitors' early advantage.

Erie led 8-5, only to watch the Mets' Mike Nickeas and Brahiam Maldonado hit solo homers in the top of the sixth off reliever Ramon Garcia. Binghamton then tied it in the seventh thanks to Garcia and Matt Hoffman's inability to throw strikes.

The duo combined to walk four straight batters, with Jose Coronado forcing home Zach Lutz.

Ratliff's costly error occurred with two outs in the bottom of that inning.

Pounds was on second and Kunkel on first when Erie's Alden Carrithers hit a sharp liner to left off Binghamton right-hander John Lujan (0-1). Ratliff mistimed his short jump and the ball squirted out of his glove for a two-run error.

Erie upped its lead to three runs when Andy Dirks doubled home Brandon Douglas. Friday marked Dirks' return to action for the first time since July 20, when the All-Star outfielder injured his shoulder while making a diving catch against Reading.

Nevin started Dirks as the SeaWolves' designated hitter and No. 3 batter. He responded with two hits and scored a run.

Every Erie starter recorded at least one hit. Besides Pounds' three hits, Douglas, Dirks, Kunkel and Billy Nowlin each had two.

The SeaWolves' Rawley Bishop also homered in the third, his second in as many games.

Zach Simons (3-4) pitched 11/3 innings of scoreless and hitless relief as Erie's fifth pitcher.

GoErie.com: Baseball: Erie SeaWolves - SeaWolves outslug B-Mets

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Nowlin helps SeaWolves keep rolling

ShareThe runs and hits kept piling up for Erie and Binghamton on Saturday.

Fortunately for the SeaWolves, so did their victory total.

Erie won its third straight in another wild scoring match-up with the Mets. Kody Kaiser’s three-run home run and Billy Nowlin’s grand slam were the biggest of 11 hits for the SeaWolves, who survived a 10-9 final before a season-high crowd of 5,654 at Jerry Uht Park.

It marked the second straight game that Erie (45-63) and Binghamton (53-55) combined for 19 runs. The SeaWolves broke a 4-all tie with single runs in the bottom of the fourth and fifth innings, then took a 10-4 lead in the sixth on Nowlin’s slam off Mets reliever Edgar Ramirez.

Nowlin finished with five RBIs. His performance came one night after Erie’s Bryan Pounds also accounted for a slam and five RBIs in Friday’s 11-8 victory.

Erie right-hander Brooks Brown won his team-high ninth game (9-7) in his second start of the team’s seven-game home stand. That home stand concludes Sunday, when the SeaWolves go for a four-game sweep of Binghamton at 1:05 p.m.

GoErie.com Blogs: Extra Innings - Nowlin helps SeaWolves keep rolling

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SeaWolves OK with MLB's HGH test

Mike

Copper

Monday's Erie SeaWolves clubhouse environment resembled any other before a game.

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Some players occupied themselves with cell phones or BlackBerrys.

Others were engaged in good-natured trash talking around the buffet table.

Still others were tuned in to music piped through the community stereo system.

Nothing out of the ordinary.

Nothing, except for those information packets that SeaWolves athletic trainer Chris McDonald left in their lockers.

Those packets informed the SeaWolves that a new era of drug testing has arrived in their sport.

Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig announced in late July that, starting immediately, minor league players in affiliated leagues are now subject to random drug tests for human growth hormones.

"The implementation of blood testing in the minor leagues represents a significant step in the detection of the illegal use of human growth hormone," Selig said in a statement. "HGH testing provides an example for all of our drug policies in the future."

The program is an evolution of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program that was initiated in 2001.

For now, HGH testing only will be conducted with minor league players. Those players are not part of the Major League Players Association, where random tests are not part of the collective bargaining agreement with major league owners.

The SeaWolves received their official packets when they returned from last weekend's series at Binghamton.

While the timing of the decision caught first baseman Michael Bertram off guard, the decision itself did not.

"We all got a hunch in (spring training) this was going to happen," said Bertram, who leads the Erie with 50 RBIs. "We know what steroids and HGH have done to baseball, and the big-name guys who were thrown under the bus because of it. None of us want to be a part of that, so we definitely thought (this type of testing) was coming.

"I think (the testing) is great because it puts everyone on a level playing field," Bertram said. "And that's the way it should be."

Teammate Deik Scram reacted much the same.

"I don't mind at all that they're getting (performance-enhancing drugs) out of the game," he said. "The game will change again, but I'm all for it."

None of the SeaWolves had been tested as of Monday, although that's because they hadn't received their official packets. Some players had not fully read the information before Erie's game against Altoona.

One player who did was outfielder Chris White, who was called up to Erie from Single-A Lakeland (Fla.) the same day as Selig's announcement.

White, who's since been promoted to Triple-A Toledo, was led to believe that any tests will be conducted after games.

"It's not like we'll have to sit and wait," he said. "They'll suck the blood right out of you right then and there."

The only lingering negative among the SeaWolves was that they weren't notified about the tests before Selig made the decision public.

"They should have done a better job of letting us know what was going on," Bertram said. "I mean, we didn't know until we all saw it on (ESPN) 'SportsCenter' that night."

Whether HGH testing is implemented among major league players remains to be seen. Either way, Bertram has no qualms about being a potential lab rat in a bid to clean up his profession.

"We're kind of in the new generation of this post-steroids era, or whatever it's called," he said. "The game is coming full-circle again. Six or seven guys hitting 50 or 60 homers in a year, that's not going to happen anymore.

"We're right on the cusp of this new cycle in baseball," Bertram said, "so, yeah, it's going to be a different game for us."

But one still worth playing, according to Rawley Bishop.

"It's something that needs to be taken care of, and that's fine by me," the Erie first baseman said of the tests. "It's a beautiful game. A great game."

GoErie.com: Baseball: Erie SeaWolves - Mike Copper: SeaWolves OK with MLB's HGH test

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Erie SeaWolves' winning streak snapped

By MIKE COPPER

mike.copper@timesnews.com

Sunday wasn't quite the slugfest the Erie SeaWolves experienced in their previous three games.

It wasn't a win for them, either.

Binghamton augmented its one-run lead with a five-run eighth inning. Brahiam Maldonado and Zach Lutz began and ended the rally with home runs for the Mets, who salvaged the four-game series finale with an 8-3 win over Erie at Jerry Uht Park.

An afternoon crowd of 3,009 watched the SeaWolves (45-64) conclude their seven-game home stand. Despite the loss, Erie still finished that stretch with a winning record.

"In the big picture, it was a good home stand," manager Phil Nevin said of team's 4-3 week. "We played well against Binghamton with a lot of new guys (promoted from Single-A Lakeland) who are still trying to fit in and become a team. I think that's why it will be good for us to get out on the road."

Erie begins a six-day road trip Tuesday at New Britain.

The Mets (54-55) prevented the SeaWolves from claiming their third series sweep. They did it by increasing their Eastern League lead in homers to 120.

Erie pulled within 3-2 in the bottom of the seventh on Alden Carrithers' RBI single, only to watch relievers Luis Marte and Jose Ortega struggle during Binghamton's next at-bats.

Maldonado led off the eighth with a solo homer off Marte, who made his first appearance since a three-game league suspension for his July 26 ejection. Marte allowed another run and departed with two Mets on base.

Ortega, though, fared no better. After Binghamton's Sean Ratliff struck out, Lutz made it 8-2 with a three-run homer off the right-hander.

Marte and Ortega each walked a batter in the eighth, a statistic that has hindered Erie's middle relievers of late.

"It's just a phase you go through," SeaWolves pitching coach Ray Burris said. "Sometimes, when pitchers try to do too much they get behind in the count. (Sunday) was another example of that."

Ortega was the second Venezuelan on the mound for Erie.

Countryman Brayan Villarreal (0-2) pitched six innings in his third Double-A start.

The SeaWolves right-hander surrendered single runs to the Mets in the third and fourth, and five hits overall.

Binghamton ace Josh Stinson improved to 9-1 with 62/3 innings of work. The right-hander allowed Erie's first two runs.

Andy Dirks lined a solo homer in the eighth for the last of the SeaWolves' seven hits. With his 11th homer, Dirks broke a tie with Michael Bertram and became the team's active leader.

Bertram, who leads Erie with 50 RBIs, was hitless in his first game since July 21. The first baseman had been on the disabled list with aggravated back spasms.

Bertram's best test of his back was in the seventh. He snared a sharp bouncer off the bat of Binghamton's Kirk Nieuwenhuis and flipped to Marte for a difficult fielder's choice play at first.

"I was actually looking forward to making some tough plays in the field just to test it out," Bertram said of his back.

GoErie.com: Baseball: Erie SeaWolves - Erie SeaWolves' winning streak snapped

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Rock Cats hold off SeaWolves

From staff reports

NEW BRITAIN, Conn. -- The Eastern League's worst team was too much for the Erie SeaWolves on Tuesday night.

The New Britain Rock Cats knocked around SeaWolves starter Duane Below on the way to a 6-3 victory in the series opener at New Britain Stadium in front of a crowd of 4,021. Below (3-11) allowed four runs and eight hits despite going a season-high 61/3 innings as the 'Wolves lost their second straight.

Erie (45-65) trailed 6-1 before rallying with a Rawley Bishop line-drive RBI double followed by an RBI single from Deik Scram off Rock Cats reliever Carlos Gutierrez in the ninth inning. Scram finished 2-for-4. The rally wasn't enough to overcome a five-run deficit.

Starter Kyle Gibson (6-5) allowed one run on five hits and recorded seven strikeouts in seven innings for the Cats.

New Britain (32-78) saw offensive punch from left fielder Mark Dolenc, who hit a solo home run and scored three runs.

In roster moves Tuesday, outfielder Andy Dirks and right-handed pitcher Zach Simons were promoted to Triple-A Toledo.

Meanwhile, outfielder Brandon Jones, who was acquired by Detroit in a trade with Pittsburgh, was assigned to Erie from Double-A Altoona. Also, right-handed pitcher Rob Waite was recalled from Class A Lakeland.

Waite, who pitched for Erie in June, has an ERA of 3.00 in three innings of work this season for the 'Wolves

GoErie.com: Baseball: Erie SeaWolves - Rock Cats hold off SeaWolves

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Douglas ready for longer stay with SeaWolves

By JOE CUNEO

joe.cuneo@timesnews.com

bilde?Site=GE&Date=20100804&Category=BASEBALL01&ArtNo=308049952&Ref=AR&MaxW=300&MaxH=300

Erie SeaWolves second baseman Brandon Douglas throws to first for an out during the 4th inning of the game against the Binghamton Mets at Jerry Uht Park on July 29.

The Erie experience is better the second time around for SeaWolves second baseman Brandon Douglas.

Douglas was called up from Single-A Lakeland a week ago today, when Shawn Roof was promoted to Triple-A Toledo.

"It's great being here for a second time. I'm not as nervous or as scared as I was two years ago," Douglas said. "I think coming up here and getting that week of experience really helped me out a lot this time."

Douglas, 24, got his first taste with Erie as a shortstop in late 2008. In five games with the 'Wolves, Douglas collected five hits in 19 at-bats for a .263 average.

He was competing in spring training with the club this season but was sidelined for two months with a hamstring injury.

Amid a slew of transactions throughout the Tigers organization, Douglas is one of the latest position players to be moved up the ranks.

"We've had so many injuries and moves at the big league level it kind of has a trickle-down effect," Erie manager Phil Nevin said.

Douglas' call-up could be a boost at the plate for the SeaWolves. Entering Tuesday's game at New Britain, Douglas was hitting .357 (5-for-14) in three games.

He debuted Thursday with a three-hit game and followed with two hits Friday. He sat Sunday after an 0-for-4 day at the plate in Saturday's 10-9 Erie victory over Binghamton.

Roof was hitting .230 with 15 RBIs in 62 games with Erie.

Converted from shortstop a year ago, Douglas has accumulated a .328 average with four home runs and 30 stolen bases over 191 minor league games. Before his promotion, Douglas had a .331 average with eight RBIs in 37 games with Lakeland in the Florida State League.

Douglas has had stints with five minor league teams since debuting with Lakeland. The many promotions have been effective in keeping Douglas on his toes.

"You never want to stay in one spot for too long, so you start thinking 'I might have an opportunity, if I keep playing well, to move up,' " he said.

After his brief stay with Erie in 2008, Douglas said he's prepared to contribute for a longer stretch this time.

"I go back to being up here two years ago; my eyes were wide open, and I hate to use the word scared but when you're young and you're up here you don't know what to expect," he said. "I'm just excited to be up here where I should have been had I not gotten injured."

Selected by the Tigers in 11th round of the 2008 draft out of Northern Iowa, Douglas played the majority of the 2008 season with Oneonta of the New York-Penn League and all of the 2009 season with Western Michigan in the Midwest League. In each season, he was named to the league's all-star team.

At 6 feet and 185 pounds, Douglas brings an athletic presence to the SeaWolves' lineup.

"I feel like I can do a lot of things offensively," Nevin said of the addition of Douglas to his lineup. "We'll do some hit-and-runs, and he's made some solid plays at second base. Those are all the reports I have on him, and he's as advertised."

GoErie.com: Baseball: Erie SeaWolves - Douglas ready for longer stay with SeaWolves

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Erie SeaWolves lose second straight to EL's worst team

From staff reports

NEW BRITAIN, Conn. -- If the New Britain Rock Cats are the Eastern League's worst team, it's not showing against the Erie SeaWolves.

The Rock Cats erased Erie's early two-run lead for a 13-6 win Wednesday night at New Britain Stadium. The hosts claimed their second straight over the SeaWolves before a crowd of 5,116.

Erik Lis and Juan Portes each went 4-for-5 for the Rock Cats (33-78), who totaled 17 hits. Portes was a double shy of the cycle.

Erie right-hander Thad Weber endured one of his worst starts this season. New Britain pummeled him for seven earned runs and 10 hits over five innings.

Weber (7-12) could be forgiven for any distractions. He was supposed to start Tuesday's series opener, but missed that game because his wife gave birth to their second child.

The Rock Cats only needed three batters to wipe out the 2-0 lead Erie staked Weber.

A Lis single was sandwiched around home runs from Jeff Howell and Portes in the bottom of the second.

The Rock Cats made it 5-2 with single runs in the third and fourth. Estarlin De Los Santos nearly recorded New Britain's third homer, but his fourth- inning drive that glanced off the glove of Erie center fielder Brandon Jones was ruled a triple and an error instead of an inside-the-park homer.

The SeaWolves (45-66) got off to a great start against New Britain right-hander Bobby Lanigan (2-0). They led 1-0 after Cale Iorg doubled and Brandon Douglas tripled as the game's first two batters.

Erie made it 2-0 in the second when Deik Scram drove in Billy Nowlin with a single. Scram finished with two RBIs, as did Douglas.

SeaWolves third baseman Bryan Pounds increased his hitting streak to seven games.

GoErie.com: Baseball: Erie SeaWolves - Erie SeaWolves lose second straight to EL's worst team

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SeaWolves beat Rock Cats

From staff reports

NEW BRITAIN, Conn. -- The Erie SeaWolves experienced a win and a loss Thursday.

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The win was their 7-4 victory over the New Britain Rock Cats. Erie (46-66) salvaged the three-game series finale before 5,018 at New Britain Stadium.

The loss was Michael Bertram, who was promoted to Triple-A Toledo earlier in the day.

It was the highest career promotion for the first baseman, whose 50 RBIs lead the SeaWolves.

The Detroit Tigers made no immediate transaction to fill Bertram's spot. That meant Erie played Thursday's game a man short on its roster.

Bertram was the third starter sent to Toledo this week. Eastern League All-Stars Andy Dirks and Zach Simons were called up to the Mud Hens on Tuesday.

Bertram's promotion also means Cale Iorg is the only current position player who's spent the entire season with the SeaWolves.

Coincidence or not, Iorg hit the game's first pitch for a home run. The shortstop's seventh of the season kick-started Erie's four-run rally off New Britain starter Tyler Robertson.

Bryan Pounds capped the SeaWolves' binge with a two-run single.

The third baseman recorded a hit in his eighth straight game.

The Rock Cats cut the lead in half with single runs in the bottom of the first and third innings, but Erie countered with two of its own in the fourth on RBIs from Billy Nowlin and Kody Kaiser.

Lester Oliveros saved the win for Erie's Anthony Shawler (3-2). Oliveros walked two Rock Cats in the ninth, but also struck out the side.

Shawler's victory was his second as a starter.

Steve Singleton singled twice for the Rock Cats, whose 33-79 record is the league's worst. Erik Lis also hit a solo homer in the sixth.

Robertson is considered the Minnesota Twins' top left-handed prospect, but Thursday's loss left his record at 2-11. He allowed six runs, three of them earned, and eight hits over four innings.

The SeaWolves will play at Reading this weekend. It's the teams' only series at FirstEnergy Stadium.

GoErie.com: Baseball: Erie SeaWolves - SeaWolves beat Rock Cats

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SeaWolves win game, lose Bertram

ShareThe Erie SeaWolves added an Eastern League win on the same day another starter was subtracted.

The SeaWolves averted a sweep by the New Britain Rock Cats with Thursday’s 7-4 victory at New Britain Stadium. The SeaWolves departed their only appearance in Connecticut with a 46-66 record.

New Britain, the league’s worst team, dropped to 33-79.

Earlier in the day, first baseman Michael Bertram received his first career Triple-A promotion. The parent Detroit Tigers didn’t make an immediate move to fill his roster spot with Erie, which meant the visitors won Thursday’s game with only 23 players.

Bertram, who leads Erie with 50 RBIs, joined former teammates Andy Dirks and Zach Simons on the Toledo Mud Hens. Dirks and Simons were called up Tuesday.

Cale Iorg is now the only position player left who has been with Erie for its entire 2010 season. The shortstop gave the SeaWolves a lead they never relinquished Thursday when he homered on the game’s first pitch from New Britain’s Tyler Robertson.

Erie totaled 11 hits, with Billy Nowlin, Brandon Douglas and Iorg each good for two. Bryan Pounds added a two-run single for a hit in his eighth straight game.

**

Erie concludes its road trip with a weekend series at Reading. The three games represent the SeaWolves’ lone stop at FirstEnergy Stadium this season.

Reading beat Trenton 8-4 on Thursday to even its record at 55-55. The Phillies and SeaWolves used to be division rivals, but Reading was switched to the league’s new Eastern Division.

The SeaWolves won’t lament Matt Rizzotti’s Thursday promotion to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. The Reading slugger was the league leader in batting average (.362), on-base percentage (.451) and slugging percentage (.638).

Each game between the SeaWolves and Phillies has progressively earlier starting times. Friday’s first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m., with Saturday’s at 6:35 p.m. and Sunday at 6:05 p.m.

Probable starters for the series are: Erie RH Brooks Brown (9-7, 4.19 ERA) vs. Reading RH J.C. Ramirez (3-2, 4.87 ERA) on Friday; RH Brayan Villarreal (0-2, 1.83) vs. RH Michael Cisco (3-7, 4.61) on Saturday; and LH Duane Below (3-11, 5.01) vs. RH Drew Naylor (9-7, 4.29) on Sunday

GoErie.com Blogs: Extra Innings - SeaWolves win game, lose Bertram

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Erie SeaWolves shut out Reading Phillies

From staff reports

READING -- Erie SeaWolves starter Brooks Brown isn't the only Eastern League pitcher with 10 wins this season.

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But thanks to Friday's 3-0 victory over the Reading Phillies, he's the only one to accomplish two other statistical feats.

A crowd of 6,826 at FirstEnergy Stadium watched Brown (10-7) become the first hurler to record four complete games and two shutouts.

The Erie right-hander allowed six hits, walked one and struck out four.

The SeaWolves' second straight win left them 47-66, while the Phillies fell below .500 at 55-56.

Brown's previous shutout was July 3, also on the road. He limited the Richmond Flying Squirrels to four hits in a 6-0 final.

The SeaWolves gave Brown plenty of defensive help this time.

They turned three double plays and catcher Jeff Kunkel threw out two would-be base stealers.

Erie's Brandon Jones also contributed when he ended the game in dramatic fashion with a diving catch of Tagg Bozied's drive deep down the left-field line.

Had Jones not made the catch, Timo Perez would have scored from second base and ruined Brown's shutout bid.

The SeaWolves' runs were courtesy of home runs off Reading starter J.C. Ramirez (3-3).

Billy Nowlin hit a solo shot in the top of the second inning and Kunkel added a two-run blast in the fourth.

Cale Iorg and Kody Kaiser accounted for half of Erie's eight hits. Bryan Pounds also singled in the ninth inning, extending his hitting streak to nine games.

Reading's Harold Garcia singled twice off Brown.

The SeaWolves played their second straight game with only 23 players. The parent Detroit Tigers have yet to fill the roster spot vacated by Thursday's promotion of first baseman Michael Bertram to the Triple-A Toledo Mud Hens

GoErie.com: Baseball: Erie SeaWolves - Erie SeaWolves shut out Reading Phillies

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Iorg, Pounds power Erie SeaWolves to win over Reading Phillies

From staff reports

READING -- Erie SeaWolves infielders Cale Iorg and Bryan Pounds didn't take long to extend their respective hitting streaks.

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Iorg and Pounds each hit home runs in their first at-bats of Saturday's 8-4 victory over Reading. They were the first two of Erie's three homers before 8,766 at FirstEnergy Stadium.

The SeaWolves (48-66) won their third straight, while the Phillies dropped to 55-57.

Iorg extended his hitting streak to eight games in dramatic fashion. The shortstop homered on the game's first pitch from Reading's Michael Cisco (3-8), a feat he also accomplished against New Britain starter Tyler Robertson on Thursday.

Pounds upped his hitting streak to 10 when he homered in the top of the second. That same inning, outfielder Kody Kaiser crushed a three-run homer off Cisco.

Kaiser was a triple short of the cycle en route to four hits, four runs batted in and two runs scored.

The SeaWolves' Jose Ortega (1-0) won in relief of Brayan Villarreal, who struggled for the first time in four Double-A starts. The Venezuelan right-hander departed after 31/3 innings, even though Erie staked him to a quick 5-0 lead.

Villarreal allowed six hits and surrendered Reading's first three runs in the fourth.

Besides Kaiser, Jeff Kunkel and Iorg also had multi-hit games in the SeaWolves' 11-hit attack. Tuffy Gosewisch produced three of Reading's eight hits off four Erie pitchers.

Saturday's victory assured the SeaWolves that they won't finish with the franchise's worst single-season record since it joined the Eastern League in 1999. Erie went 47-94 in 2000, when it was affiliated with the Anaheim Angels

GoErie.com: Baseball: Erie SeaWolves - Iorg, Pounds power Erie SeaWolves to win over Reading Phillies

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SeaWolves win 4th straight game

From staff reports

READING -- The recent offensive success of the Erie SeaWolves didn't end Sunday night.

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The SeaWolves earned a series sweep and their fourth straight win as they pounded out 14 hits in a 9-4 win over the Reading Phillies in front of 7,369 at FirstEnergy Stadium.

Brandon Douglas, who finished with four runs batted in, opened the scoring for the SeaWolves (49-66) with a two-run single in the top of the third inning.

Douglas scored on a double by Billy Nowlin with two outs to put Erie ahead 3-0.

Brian Pounds extended his hitting streak to 11 games when he led off the fourth inning with a single. From there, the heart of the SeaWolves' order continued the outburst against Reading starter Drew Naylor (9-8).

Andy Bouchie hit a ground-rule double before doubles by Douglas and Alden Carrithers increased the lead to 7-0.

The lead was more than enough for SeaWolves starter Duane Below (4-11), who allowed just one earned run and three hits in 52/3 innings.

Carrithers led off the sixth inning with his first career Eastern League home run.

Douglas followed up with a triple and later scored on a fielder's choice to finish the scoring for the SeaWolves.

Tagg Bozied hit a three-run home run in the eighth inning and finished the game with four RBIs for Reading (55-58).

The SeaWolves will return home to Jerry Uht Park for a six-game homestand starting Tuesday night at 7:05 against New Britain.

GoErie.com: Baseball: Erie SeaWolves - SeaWolves win 4th straight game

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