After a successful road trip, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders return home tonight to PNC Field hoping to continue that stretch to begin an eight-game homestand.
The stay at home starts at 7:05 p.m. today with a game against Syracuse, the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals. A familiar face for both Nationals and Yankees fans is slated to be on the mound for the RailRiders in Chien-Ming Wang, who played for both major league clubs. Wang, who was signed to a minor league deal by New York last month, will be making his first start of the season. He’ll be opposed by Chiefs’ right-hander Yunesky Maya (0-1, 5.25 ERA).
Also tonight, the RailRiders will auction off the owner’s suite at PNC Field for the June 21 game. The proceeds from the auction will be used to support the victims of the bombing at the Boston Marathon.
Entering Thursday’s game against Rochester, the RailRiders pitched 20 consecutive scoreless innings and scored 30 runs during a current four-game winning streak. The Chiefs enter PNC Field on a four-game slide after getting shellacked by Buffalo on Thursday at home 27-9.
Saturday’s probables are RailRiders’ righty Brett Marshall (0-1, 11.25) versus Syracuse RHP Ryan Perry (0-0, 6.30). Like today, Saturday’s game time in 7:05 p.m. The teams meet again on Sunday afternoon with a pair of lefties going at it. SWB opening-day starter Vidal Nuno (1-0, 1.53) will be pitted against the Chiefs’ Danny Rosenbaum (1-0, 0.82). The series concludes Monday at 6:35 p.m. with RailRiders right-hander Chris Bootcheck (1-0, 0.00 in two starts) facing former SWB Yankee Ross Ohlendorf (2-1, 3.45).
There are also plenty of promotions going on during the series.
Tonight there will be fireworks and Saturday night will be a RailRiders welcome mat giveaway to the first 2,500 fans. Sunday is family fun day at the ballpark and is also hockey day with several members of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and mascot Tux scheduled to be on hand before the team takes to the ice later in the week to begin the AHL playoffs. The series concludes with dollar hot dog night on Monday.
When the Chiefs leave town, the Columbus Clippers enter for a four-game set Tuesday through Friday. Games on Tuesday and Thursday against the Triple-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians begin at 6:35 p.m. with Wednesday’s contest being the first of two School Day games this season for the RailRiders with game time at 10:35 a.m. The homestand ends on April 26 with Friday Fireworks and a 7:05 p.m. start.
LAWN SEATS OPEN
The first homestand of the season at PNC Field didn’t exactly go the way the team had planned on the field or weather wise. Because the temperature was so chilly on the first few days, the lawn seats were not available because the sod was still getting acclimated to the ground.
Now, the grass is as green as on the field and will be open for fans to take in the action starting tonight. Tickets for the lawn seats can be purchased for $7. You can also take advantage of that on Tuesday against Columbus because every Tuesday is a 2-for-1, when you buy a lawn seat ticket and get one free.
GAME NOT ON TV
Tonight’s game was originally slated to be broadcast live on WQMY as the first of 20 telecasts throughout the season. The game will not be on tonight, though, as originally planned. The first live showing on the network will now be on Friday, May 10. Another date will be announced at a later time to take the place of tonight’s broadcast.