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Silver Sox seek relief in Soriano

DARRELL MOODY
Appeal Sports Writer

RENO – As expected, Reno manager Les Lancaster made a change to his bullpen staff after Tuesday night’s 6-1 loss to the Los Angeles Armada.

Julio Soriano, a 6-foot-2 160-pound right-hander, was in uniform for Wednesday’s game. Soriano was recently released by the Baltimore Orioles’ organization after compiling a 1-0 record with a 6.75 ERA.

To make room for Soriano, the team released right-hander Mike Peck, who was 0-0 with a 12.71 ERA in eight games. In 5 2/3 innings, Peck gave up eight earned runs and eight hits.

Soriano, who was 9-9 with a 2.87 ERA through the 2006 season, throws a fastball, slider and change-up. He throws between 89 and 93 miles-per-hour.

“I’ve been primarily a middle guy,” Soriano said. “I’ve been both (middle man and closer). I just work myself into roles.

“I don’t really know why I was released. They never tell you why. Too many pitchers. I guess there wasn’t enough room.”

Dusty Bergman, Reno’s pitching coach, was impressed with what he saw in a pre-game workout.

“He looked good,” Bergman said. “I can’t see why he got released in the first place.”

The Silver Sox bullpen has struggled most of the season, and in the last two games alone, allowed 10 runs in four innings. The biggest issue has been walks.

Peck walked 10 in 5 2/3 innings, Josh Evans has walked 10 in 15 innings, Adam Nikolic 10 in 17 innings and Chris Testa 10 in 14 innings.

“Walks and errors have killed us,” Bergman said. “Cut those in half and we probably would have five or six more wins. As a staff, we are walking a lot of guys. That’s why we’re struggling in the late innings because we are giving out free passes.”

The team may not be through making changes. Bergman said that Lancaster has an eye on a player in the Southwest, and the Reno manager was scouring stats on various web-sites.

The team, which had two closers last season, has zero this season.

“It’s nice having that guy,” Bergman said. “They are hard to find. If you find somebody there’s a pretty good chance they’ll be picked up by an organization.”

CHICKEN IN TOWN

Ted Giannoulas, the World Famous Chicken, performed at Wednesday’s game. He will also do games in Yuma and Chico.

It was Giannoulas’ first-ever appearance in Reno, but it wasn’t the first time that Bergman has seen him. The former CHS star said he has seen him several times.

Bergman was the victim of one of the chicken’s pranks. Giannoulas came out to coach first base during a Texas League game in Round Rock several years ago.

When Bergman went into the stretch, he came face-to-face with Giannoulas. Bergman said that Giannoulas first pulled out a poster of a scantily clad woman. Moments later, he showed Bergman another one, this time of a very overweight woman. Bergman finally had to step off the mound to avoid a balk.

STAT WATCH

Reno is last in the GBL with a team average of .269, trailing league leader Orange County by 19 points.

The Silver Sox are fourth in pitching with a 5.03 team ERA. Chico, the league leader, is at 4.32.

•Contact Darrell Moody at dmoody@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1281