Last updated: July 12. 2014 9:50PM - 594 Views
By Dave Rosengrant drosengrant@civitasmedia.com

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A three-game winning streak and victories in four of their last five games have the RailRiders playing their best ball of the season.

The team has been clicking on all cylinders during the stretch getting good pitching, key hits and solid defense to climb back in the playoff race. But that’s easier said than done.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre has a lot of work to do if its going to reach the postseason. They started Saturday with the fifth-worst record in the league and 6.5 games behind Rochester for the Wild Card spot with a 46-50 record. Yes, those are definitely manageable numbers, but the RailRiders have four other teams in between them and the Red Wings, and are tied with two others. Plus, time is running out as just 48 games are left on the SWB schedule. Just to finish above .500 the RailRiders will have to finish 25-23.

As for the Wild Card spot, going back to 2007, the least amount of wins the International League Wild Card winner has had is 77, which has happened twice. That means the RailRiders would have to finish 31-17 the rest of the way to reach 77 wins.

They also have a challenging schedule upcoming. Six of the nine teams they will face have winning records. Crazy as it may be, SWB has winning records against five of the six with the only team they have a losing record against is Rochester. Of the teams with losing records remaining on the slate, the RailRiders are a combined 5-11 against Lehigh Valley and Charlotte. Gwinnett, also playing under .500, has not played Scranton/Wilkes-Barre yet this season but SWB went 6-2 versus the G-Braves last season.

In case you missed it

The RailRiders finished one of their best homestands of the season last week by winning three straight and four out of five.

SWB entered a three-game series with Rochester losing 10 of 11 to the Red Wings dating back to 2013 and having not won a series versus the Wings since July 8-10 last season. But the RailRiders finally got to Rochester, sweeping all three games, including a doubleheader where both games were won in walk-off fashion, including a homer by Adonis Garcia.

Looking ahead

Jose Pirela will be the team’s lone participant in the Triple-A All-Star Game, which will be held on Wednesday in Durham. He will stay in the south and his teammates will join him in Charlotte when the break ends for a four-game series against the Knights, who took three of four against SWB at PNC Field last week.

Coming up at PNC Field

The next game at PNC Field isn’t until July 25, which will be the start of a lenghty home stand where the Railriders play 18 of 20 in Moosic.

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