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Last updated: May 11. 2013 11:30PM - 773 Views
By DAVE ROSENGRANT



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There’s just two more matchups in this eight-game homestand, and the RailRiders are just 2-3 through the first five games. After Monday’s contest with the G-Braves, the locals have eight on the road, where success has been plentiful — they are 12-1 in their last 13 starts away from PNC Field.


Here’s a closer look at this week’s upcoming opponents for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.


Gwinnett Braves


Scranton/Wilkes-Barre finishes off a four-game set with the Braves today and tomorrow at PNC Field. The RailRiders have controlled the season series with the Braves after sweeping the four games in Gwinnett.


Brett Marshall and Graham Stoneburner are set to start the final two games of the series for SWB going against Daniel Rodriguez and Yohan Flande.


Gwinnett slugger Ernesto Mejia leads the I.L. in home runs beginning last weekend with eight longballs and 23 RBI. Like many power hitters though, he also strikes a lot averaging more than a strikeout per game.


Toledo Mud Hens


When Gwinnett leaves town on Monday so do the RailRiders. They head on the road for eight games in Ohio starting with a swing for four in Toledo. The series starts on Tuesday and wraps up Friday.


The Triple-A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers has struggled this season entering the weekend with the worst record in the International League. The Mud Hens also have the lowest batting average, least amount of runs scored and most strikeouts my batters in the league, despite being packed with prospects.


Outfielders Nick Castellanos and Avisail Garcia are the No. 1 and No. 2 ranked prospects in the organization according to Baseball America. Right-hander reliever Bruce Rondon is ranked third.


Castellanos, 21, is batting around .250 this season, but had a batting average last year in the minors of .320. Garcia, who is also 21-years-old, was just promoted from High Class A Lakewood. Rondon has spent time in the Majors this season and entered the weekend not allowing a run for Toledo in 10 appearances.


Outfielder Quintin Berry played 94 games for Detroit last season and is hitting under .200 this season. Familiar faces in pitcher Phil Coke and infielder Kevin Russo, who were both in New York’s organization, are on Toledo’s roster.


This is the first meeting between the clubs this season.


Columbus Clippers


Once the RailRiders leave Toledo they will take about a two and a half hour ride to Columbus to face the Triple-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians.


The teams met last month at PNC Field with the Clippers winning three of the four games. The teams will play Saturday to begin the four-game series. During the series in Moosic, Columbus won three of four, but all games were close.


Starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco, who was struck by a liner in that series, is back from the injury. Daisuke Matsuzaka, who pitched in the series, is on the D.L.


The club has been getting a spark offensively from Matt LaPorta, who joined the team at the beginning of the month and has been on fire starting the weekend with a .370 average and four home runs in just seven games.


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