One night after manufacturing their runs by playing small ball, the SeaWolves (3-8) decided to extend their batting practice into regulation by hitting three home runs to fuel them to their third straight victory, a 5-3 win over the Bowie Baysox before 2,438 fans at Jerry Uht Park.
"We'll do it anyway we can," manager Phil Nevin said. "Obviouly in this ball park if you get a hold of it and it will get out. We got into a couple early today."
Wilkin Ramirez led the charge with a homer in the first inning, followed by two more in the third inning by Andy Dirks and Deik Scram.
"If you score a run in the first inning the team is going to try and get together and keep it going," Ramirez said. "We already had one run on the board and everybody started to do the same thing."
As important as that initial run was, the shot of the day came from Scram. After Ramirez laced a single up the middle, Scram came to the plate and blasted Baysox pitcher Steven Johnson's first offering over Holland Street and onto the roof of the Erie Civic Center's storage building that sits beyond the right field wall.
"He threw me a fastball and I was able to capitalize on it," Scram said. "If we continue to swing the bats good things are going to happen. Now that we are here, at home, with these great crowds behind us - we feed off them."
Tuesday's game also saw Jon Kibler's third consecutive quality start. The left handed pitcher threw seven innings, allowing five hits and two earned runs, while walking one and striking out four.
Kibler started out strong, getting through the first four innings on 45 pitches while facing just one batter above the minimum, but struggled through the fifth and sixth inning.
"I felt great in the beginning. I was getting a lot of ground balls and throwing a lot of strikes. In the middle there I stiffened up and couldn't find the zone, which led to me getting into deeper counts and getting hit around a little bit," Kibler said.
The Baysox were able to take advantage of him in the fifth inning after he began to struggle with his command. Behind a pair of singles by Joel Guzman and Caleb Joseph to lead off the inning, Bowie (9-3) cut into the SeaWolves 5-0 lead by scoring a run on a fielding error by Cale Iorg and a sacrifice double play that ended the inning.
They added a third run on a Miguel Abreu homer that led off the sixth.
Kibler, who is now 1-2 with a 2.00 ERA, was aided by a pair of spectacular defensive plays from Iorg and 2B Justin Henry.
Iorg reminded everyone why is considered one of the best defensive talents in the minor league's when he made a diving catch on a ball that was hit behind second base and into shallow centerfield in the third inning one play after recording a throwing error.
"That was unbelievable. I never thought that he was going to make that catch, there was no way," Ramirez said.
Then, not to be outdone, Henry fielded a ball hit into the hole behind second base and flipped it behind his back to Iorg at second to record the third out in the seventh inning.
"That was a great play. That was a much needed play because there would have been a guy on first and second. That was just incredible," Kibler said.
Notes: Nevin announced after the game that Audy Ciriaco (wrist) was activated from the disabled list and will be in the lineup tomorrow and play third base against Bowie. Santo De Leon was tendered his outright released to make room on the roster for Ciriaco.
De Leon, 26, was hitting .207 with a home run prior to be being released.
"It's the first time I've had to do that. Santo's been a great part of this organization for a long time," Nevin said.