Last updated: May 17. 2014 9:14PM - 1054 Views
By Dave Rosengrant drosengrant@civitasmedia.com

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When he was first promoted from Trenton, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre first baseman Kyle Roller was slumping and looked out of his comfort zone for the first three games, as he had just one hit in his first 10 at-bats.

He got a day off on the last day of the RailRiders’ homestand last week and, since then, he’s been on a roll.

The 26-year-old slugged his first two Triple-A home runs and went 5 for 14 during a four-game series in Lehigh Valley.

A left-handed hitter, he slugged nine homers, batted .385 with an on-base percentage of .456 and drove in 23 runs in just 21 games for the Thunder, while also getting the honor of Eastern League Player of the Week on April 28.

An eighth round selection in the 2010 draft by the Yankees, he’s got his average up to .250 (6 for 24) in seven games for SWB since his May 9 promotion.

In case you missed it

It hasn’t been a memorable week for the RailRiders, as they began Friday night riding a four-game losing streak and having lost five of their last six games. That’s following season-high six-game winning streak.

The losses have also meant that the RailRiders are now in a big hole in the IronRail Series against Lehigh Valley, since three of those losses have come to the IronPigs. After Saturday’s game, Lehigh Valley now holds a 6-2 advantage in the series.

The week ahead

If the RailRiders play like they did against the top teams in the International League on their recent homestand, this week should be very good.

That’s because Scranton/Wilkes-Barre faces Pawtucket for the first time this season in a series that started Saturday night and runs through Tuesday at McCoy Stadium. The Red Sox began Saturday leading the IL North with a 24-19 mark, including the second-most wins in the league.

Brock Holt, who spent time in Boston this season, leads the team’s offense with a .315 batting average and .380 on-base percentage. Bryce Brentz and Brandon Snyder, who have both given the RailRiders fits in the past, have combined for 13 home runs and 42 RBI this season while the current RailRiders roster has just 14 home runs.

One the team leaves Pawtucket, it will enjoy a day off Wednesday before returning home to the friendly confines of PNC Field for a four-game set with Rochester. The squads met earlier this season in Rochester with the Red Wings sweeping the three-game series. The Red Wings and RailRiders began Saturday with identical 20-20 records, but that’s because the Red Wings had won four in a row, while SWB lost four straight last week.

Top promotions

May the (twenty)-fourth be with you!!

On Saturday, May 24, the RailRiders will host their second annual Star Wars Night at PNC Field with an appearance by members of the 501st Garrison Carida. Be sure to dress in your favorite character costume from the famous movie series.

Also Saturday, in honor of Memorial Day Weekend, the RailRiders’ giveaway promotion this week will be a barbecue apron with white stars and an American Flag RailRiders logo for the first 1,500 fans.

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