Starting lineups for Thursday’s Eastern League game between the Altoona Curve and the Erie SeaWolves at Jerry Uht Park:
Altoona Curve (13-18): 1. Robbie Grossman CF, 2. Brock Holt SS, 3. Tony Sanchez C, 4. Matt Curry 1B, 5. Ramon Cabrera DH, 6. Jeremy Farrell 3B, 7. Charlie Cutler LF, 8. Quincy Latimore RF, 9. Elevys Gonzalez 2B.
Starting pitcher: Phillip Irwin RH (0-0, 0.00 ERA).
Erie SeaWolves (14-17): 1. Niuman Romero SS, 2. Brandon Douglas 2B, 3. Rob Brantly C, 4. Jordan Lennerton 1B, 5. Rawley Bishop DH, 6. Ben Guez LF, 7. Bryan Pounds 3B, 8. Michael Rockett RF, 9. Jamie Johnson CF.
Starting pitcher: Zack Segovia RH (3-2, 3.89 ERA).
– Mike Copper
The start of the SeaWolves’ seven-game home stand is actually the resumption of eight straight games against the Curve at Uht Park. The teams split the first four when they played April 30 to May 3.
Erie returned home from a week-long road trip to Reading and Akron, respectively the Eastern League’s Eastern and Western Division leaders. The SeaWolves went 3-3 against them, including three games against Akron in a 24-hour span because of a rain out.
Altoona comes north to Erie off two straight home losses to Bowie. After this weekend, the Curve doesn’t come to Uht Park again until Labor Day weekend, the teams’ final series of the regular season.
Thursday’s game has a 6:35 p.m. first pitch, with Friday and Saturday featuring Erie’s first 7:05 starts and postgame fireworks. Sunday’s series finale is scheduled for 1:35.
Probable starters for the series are: Altoona RH Phillip Irwin (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Erie RH Zack Segovia (3-2, 3.89 ERA) on Thursday; LH Nathan Baker (2-3, 5.34) vs. LH Jared Wesson (3-2, 6.91) on Friday; RH Brandon Cumpton (4-2, 3.44) vs. LH Kelvin De La Cruz (1-4, 4.50) on Saturday; and to be determined vs. RH James Avery (4-2, 2.70) on Sunday.
This time, SeaWolves manager Chris Cron was only a spectator for an Erie baseball game.
Erie Times-News sports writer Tom Reisenweber reported that Cron was spotted at Wednesday night’s Region 9 high school game between rivals Cathedral Prep and McDowell at Ainsworth Field. No word if he was around for the ending, which saw Trojans second baseman Matt Hansen throw out the Ramblers’ Chris Francis at home plate to end McDowell’s dramatic 4-3 victory.
Cron was able to attend because the SeaWolves returned here during the late afternoon after beating the Aeros 7-5 in a morning game at Canal Park.
Saturday’s game marks the end of the SeaWolves’ Gloves for Kids drive, a way for the team to collect new and slightly used baseball equipment for local youth baseball and softball leagues.
Fans who donate equipment to the SeaWolves between now and Saturday will receive one free ticket for Erie’s June 5-7 series against Trenton at Uht Park. For information, call the SeaWolves at 456-1300.
Erie’s home stand will be Rawley Bishop’s first since his Monday recall from Toledo.
Bishop, 26, struggled in his first career Triple-A assignment. As a Detroit Tigers’ 2009 draft pick, he hit .143 (3-for-21) with one RBI in six International League games for the Mud Hens.
Relief pitcher Austin Wood also was sent back to Erie that same day. Bishop and Wood took the Erie roster spots of third baseman Wade Gaynor and reliever Patrick Cooper, who were optioned back to Single-A Lakeland (Fla.)
Gaynor was recalled even though he hit a grand slam at Reading for his first career Double-A home run.
Construction continued adjacent to Uht Park on Thursday, but the biggest change during the SeaWolves’ road trip was a name chance to its neighboring facility.
As of Wednesday, Tullio Arena will now be known as Erie Insurance Arena at Tullio Plaza. Officials from Erie Insurance Group, a Fortune 500 company, and the Erie County Convention Center Authority announced the name change at a Wednesday press conference.
As for work updates on the $42 million renovation project, a brick façade near Uht Park’s left-field bullpen is roughly two-thirds completed, with three billboards installed above the home-run line on its new 33-foot left-field wall.
Roofing for a new indoor-outdoor batting cage beyond center field also was completed in the last week.
Chad Oberacker has hit .190 (4-for-21) in six games for the Stockton Ports in the California League. The McDowell graduate did single twice as their right fielder in Wednesday’s 3-2 loss at Visalia.
Oberacker, drafted by the Oakland Athletics in 2011, was called up to their long-season Single-A affiliate last week.
Papa and Mama Root, who regularly perform early rock ‘n roll at ballparks throughout the northeastern United States, will play at Uht Park four times the remainder of this season. The first will be May 26, when Erie hosts Akron.
Their other performance dates here are June 25 (Binghamton), July 16 (Bowie) and Aug. 20 (Akron).