Starting lineups for Tuesday’s Eastern League game between the Akron Aeros and the Erie SeaWolves at Jerry Uht Park:
Akron Aeros (75-52): 1. Tyler Holt CF, 2. Jordan Henry RF, 3. Thomas Neal LF, 4. Nick Weglarz DH, 5. Jesus Aguilar 1B, 6. Matt Lawson 2B, 7. Ryan Rohlinger SS, 8. Michel Hernandez C, 9. Carlos Rojas 3B.
Starting pitcher: RH Toru Murata (2-1, 3.14 ERA).
Erie SeaWolves (54-73): 1. Jamie Johnson CF, 2. Niuman Romero SS, 3. Nick Castellanos RF, 4. Jordan Lennerton DH, 5. Tony Plagman LF, 6. Rawley Bishop 1B, 7. Brandon Douglas 2B, 8. Corey Jones 3B, 9. James McCann C.
Starting pitcher: LH Ramon Garcia (8-9, 4.12 ERA).
– Mike Copper
The last true night of Buck Night games at Jerry Uht Park almost resulted in the Erie’s SeaWolves’ first sellout in three seasons.
An overflow crowd of 6,743 took in all or part of Erie’s 5-2 victory over Akron Monday. It was the franchise’s biggest single-game head count at home since Aug. 24, 2009.
Ironically, Erie and Akron also played that day before 6,952.
Erie has averaged 2,993 fans this season going into Tuesday’s game against the Aeros. That figure is 11th in the 12-team Eastern League, with the Binghamton Mets last at 2,868.
The Aeros went into today 7½ games ahead of Bowie for the league’s Western Division lead.
While Akron is biding its time until it clinches that pennant, last-place Erie actually has had relative success against the Ohio franchise. The SeaWolves’ 2012 record against the Aeros currently stands at 12-9.
Monday’s game saw SeaWolves pitcher Robbie Weinhardt strike out three straight Aeros after fellow relievers Tyler Stohr and Michael Morrison walked Akron’s first five batters to start the top of the eighth.
What made Weinhardt’s feat even more notable was that they represented the seventh, eighth and ninth batters in a row that the right-hander whiffed dating back to last Saturday’s appearance against Harrisburg.
That night saw Weinhardt require 24 pitches to retire the Senators’ side on strikeouts for their eighth and ninth innings. Of those 24 pitches, 20 were for strikes according to the league’s online game tracker.
Weinhardt appeared in 30 games for the Detroit Tigers over their 2010 and 2011 seasons. He’s currently 1-2 with a 2.51 earned-run average in 61 innings out of Erie’s bullpen this season.
Niuman Romero’s league-leading 147 hits going into Tuesday leaves him tied with SeaWolves teammate Jamie Johnson for sixth place on the franchise’s all-time, single-season list. The shortstop attained that plateau with a single Monday.
Tuesday’s game offers Romero a great chance to move into sole possession of fourth place. Two hits will allow the 27-year-old Venezuelan to pass Alejandro Freire (2001) and Clete Thomas (2007), who are tied for fifth overall.
Omar Infante, like Romero a Venezuelan native, has held Erie’s single-season record of 163 hits since 2001.
The league’s website has posted a story on Avisail Garcia. The Erie outfielder, whom Baseball America listed 10th among Detroit’s preseason prospects, has hit .310 in 45 games since his July 4 call-up from Single-A Lakeland (Fla.)
Former Pittsburgh Pirates general manager Dave Littlefield took in Monday’s game at Uht Park. Littlefield, who held that position for the Bucs from 2001-2007, was scouting for the Chicago Cubs.
The Round Rock Express edged the Oklahoma City RedHawks 2-1 Monday night in Texas. The Triple-A Pacific Coast League game marked the debut of Tom Lawless as the latter’s interim manager.
Lawless, a Strong Vincent graduate who played eight seasons in the majors, took over the RedHawks when Tony DeFrancesco was summoned by the Houston Astros to take over as manager of the parent club after Brad Mills’ weekend firing.
Lawless was working as Houston’s minor league infield coordinator before his current assignment.