Erbe and Mickolio will head to Aberdeen

Two right-handers that have been pitching with the Norfolk Tides this season will join the Aberdeen IronBirds this weekend on injury-rehab assignments.

Brandon Erbe and Kam Mickolio are expected to pitch for Aberdeen this Saturday at Ripken Stadium.

It's been a busy week in the O's minors on the injury rehab front with Brian Roberts at Bowie and Brandon Snyder joining Aberdeen yesterday.

Erbe has been on the DL since June 25 and has not pitched since June 20 due to right shoulder soreness. He is 0-10, 5.73 in 14 Triple-A starts this year.

Mickolio, who pitched in three O's games back in April, hasn't pitched since June 11 due to a right shoulder strain. He is 2-2, 8.05 in 18 Norfolk games this year.

Erbe and Mickolio will be joining an Aberdeen team that has been on a roll lately. It's latest win came by a 9-5 score in 11 innings last night over Tri-City on a Kipp Schutz walk off Grand Slam in the 11th.

The 2010 IronBirds have become a team with a penchant for late-inning and comeback wins.

Snyder, beginning what is expected to be a three-game stretch with Aberdeen, hit a solo homer in the last of the 8th last night to tie Tri-City at 5-5.

Then, Schutz, who is having an outstanding season, came up with the bases loaded in the last of the 11th and hit a walk-off Grand Slam.

"Just looking to hit something hard. I knew I was going to get a pitch, because he didn't want to throw one in the dirt or walk me. Luckily I hit it pretty well," Schutz, who is batting .385-3-24 in 29 games, said.

"Actually I don't think I've ever hit a walk-off home run before. That's a great feeling having all your teammates there ready to celebrate.

"It's a bunch of guys (here) with good character that don't want to give up. Some guys might give up, but this team doesn't and it's nice to be on a team like this. In the late innings we always feel we have a chance to win."

Schutz, a 19th-round pick last year out of Indiana, is 9 for 17 over his last four games and is batting .421 at home and .457 on the season with runners in scoring position.

The game also featured the return of Snyder to Aberdeen where he was an IronBird in 2005 and 2006.

He went 2 for 5 with 2 RBI and his injured back held up fine in his first game since June 17 with Norfolk.

"My back felt great. But with not playing for a month, I'm trying to get back into baseball shape," Snyder said.

He was also past of Aberdeen's ninth comeback win of the year. Five of Aberdeen's last eight wins have come on runs in the ninth inning or later.

"I've heard that these guys have been winning some games late. The first thing you notice is the energy these guys have, a lot of the younger guys are excited to be here and playing. This is a great group of guys and it's fun to be playing with them, it's awesome," Snyder said.

The IronBirds have now won five games in a row overall and six straight at home. They are two games over .500 for the first time all year at 17-15 and host Tri-City again tonight in game two of a three-game series.

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