Starting lineups for Saturday’s Eastern League game between the Altoona Curve and the Erie SeaWolves at Jerry Uht Park:
Altoona Curve (38-53): 1. Starling Marte CF, 2. Brock Holt 2B, 3. Josh Rodriguez SS, 4. Kris Watts C, 5. Tony Sanchez DH, 6. Matt Curry 1B, 7. Yunesky Sanchez 3B, 8. Brad Chalk RF, 9. Greg Picart LF.
Starting pitcher: Aaron Pribanic RH (5-8, 4.37 ERA).
Erie SeaWolves (44-48): 1. Jamie Johnson CF, 2. Gustavo Nunez 2B, 3. Francisco Martinez 3B, 4. Bryan Pounds LF, 5. Rawley Bishop 1B, 6. Audy Ciriaco SS, 7. Brandon Douglas DH, 8. Justin Henry RF, 9. Bryan Holaday C.
Starting pitcher: L.J. Gagnier RH (3-3, 4.42 ERA).
– Mike Copper
Pittsburgh Steelers great Rocky Bleier threw out the first pitch before Saturday’s game between the SeaWolves and the Altoona Curve. Bleier was in town for the Roar at the Shore motercycle rally, and to help raise money for family members of the Flight 93 crash in Shanksville, Pa.
Pitchers L.J. Gagnier and Brendan Wise were officially recalled to the Erie SeaWolves before Saturday’s game against Altoona. Gagnier will start for Mark Sorensen, who was sent down to Single-A Lakeland (Fla.) even though his seven wins are the most of any Erie pitcher.
Gagnier will make his first start for Erie since May 24, when he took the loss in a 5-1 final at Richmond. The right-hander was promoted to the Mud Hens the following day, and went 1-3 with 7.44 earned-run average in eight International League appearances since then.
In his first stint with the SeaWolves, Gagnier was 3-3 with a 4.42 ERA. One of his wins was a 4-0 seven-inning shutout of Reading in the first game of an April 26 doubleheader at Uht Park.
Also back with the SeaWolves is Wise. The 25-year-old Australian (1-1, 1.35) relieved for Toledo since the start of 2011.
Wise pitched portions of Erie’s 2007-10 seasons. Last year, he was 2-0 with a 1.44 ERA in 15 games for the SeaWolves.
Erie placed Robbie Weinhardt on the disabled list Saturday, which led to Wise’s return.
Gagnier’s addition to Erie’s rotation coincided with Altoona’s announced starters for the teams’ last two games this season.
The Curve will send out right-hander Aaron Pribanic (5-8, 4.37) to counter Gagnier on Saturday. Sunday’s 1:05 p.m. series closer will feature Erie’s Brooks Brown (1-4, 7.01) and Altoona’s Phillip Irwin (3-1, 3.45) in another matchup of right-handers.
SeaWolves right-hander Jacob Turner got his first taste of Major League Baseball experience Sunday, even if it wasn’t in an major league game.
Turner’s appearance in the XM Futures Game at Phoenix began a week that saw him criss-cross the country. The 20-year-old Detroit Tigers prospect, competing for the U.S. team, retired two World batters in the top of the ninth inning.
“They definitely did it right,” Turner said of the U.S.’s 6-4 victory at Chase Field, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks. “They definitely treated us like big leaguers.”
Turner then doubled back all the way to Manchester, N.H., for a cameo in the Western Division’s 8-3 win over the Eastern Division in Wednesday’s Eastern League All-Star Game. He officially rejoined the SeaWolves on Thursday, with Friday’s start against Altoona his third appearance in six days.
“It’s been taxing, but fun at the same time,” Turner said. “A lot of different times zones and travel, but that’s all part of it.”
Turner took the loss in the Curve’s 3-1 victory at Jerry Uht Park. He pitched five innings in what was considered a mini-audition to fill a vacancy in Detroit’s rotation for Wednesday’s game against Oakland at Comerica Park.
There was no word from the Tigers who would claim that spot before the start of Saturday’s first pitch between the SeaWolves and the Curve.
Erie manager Chris Cron anticipated that Deik Scram will be activated Sunday. The outfielder has been on the disabled list since with a hamstring pull since July 6.
“He’s real close,” Cron said of Scram’s status. “He’ll be running the bases (Saturday) and he’s already taking (batting practice).”
Erie has played with Jamie Johnson as the only full-time outfielder on its roster since Scram’s injury. Scram has hit .276 in 30 games for the SeaWolves.