MOOSIC — A rain out on Friday night could be just what the RailRiders needed.
The team’s pitching had been depleted after having to use five arms Thursday night and two right-handers getting called up to New York prior to Thursday’s loss to Buffalo.
In addition to getting some well-needed rest for the bullpen, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre was looking at a nearly eight-hour bus ride to Durham, North Carolina, to start a four-game series with the Bulls at the beginning of an eight-game, nine-day road trip, which also includes a stop at Norfolk.
The RailRiders took two of the three games from the Bisons in the series and nearly won all three, but a ninth-inning rally Thursday fell one run short. There has not been a makeup date announced yet for Friday’s postponement. The Bisons return to PNC Field two more times this season — July 4-5 and Aug. 27-28.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre enters tonight’s game at Durham with a 10-10 record. The team will miss playing Buffalo, as it is 4-2 against the North Division foe. The RailRiders and Bisons also lost a game to the weather last week when they met in Buffalo.
Zoilo Almonte, who bashed a three-run homer in the ninth on Thursday, will personally miss the Bisons. The switch-hitting outfielder, who missed one of the games this week due to the birth of his child, has four home runs this season and three have come against the Bisons. He is 7 for 22 (.318) with six RBI in five games.
An extra day off could also help the SWB bats, which have struggled during the now-concluded homestand. The RailRiders scored 27 runs in the seven games, with 17 of those runs being scored in the sixth inning or later. They had problems the entire homestand trying to get things going early in games. And when runs did score early on, it seemed like they were scoring when opponents made errors. In fact, five of the runs SWB scored on the homestand crossed the plate on errors by either Lehigh Valley or Buffalo.
“We’re hanging around .500 (record) right now but as soon as we could start clicking things will be better,” outfielder Antoan Richardson said. “You just have days like that. I don’t know if it’s necessarily one thing imparticular. We just have to get (lucky hits) and tough breaks, things like that but it’s part of the game. Sometimes we’re on the beneficial side of that and sometimes we’re not.”
The offense will try to get a jumpstart in Durham against the team with the best record in the International League entering Friday night with a 15-7 record.
Today’s Game: The RailRiders play the Durham at 5:05 p.m. today at game at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
Today’s Probables: SWB RHP Chris Leroux (0-2, 12.79) vs. Durham RHP Merrill Kelly (4-0, 1.50)
On Deck: Scranton/Wilkes-Barre is starting an eight0game road trip. After four at Durham, the RailRiders travel to Norfolk to face the Tides for four starting May. The next home game is Monday, May 5.
On The Radio: All games can be heard on NEPA Sports Radio WYCK 1340-AM, 1400-AM, 100.7-FM