Saturday, July 12, 2014

The Week Ahead

June 08. 2013 11:41PM

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Here’s a look at the upcoming week for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders:

There’s only two teams on SWB’s schedule this week and both squads — the Buffalo Bisons and Lehigh Valley IronPigs — squared off last week. It’s a big week for the RailRiders because both teams are ahead of them in the standings and if they are going to make up ground in the I.L. North, now is a good opportunity.

Buffalo Bisons

There are three games in the series with the top affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays from today through Tuesday. The Bisons’ offense packs a punch with four hitters batting over .300, including Jim Negrych, who leads the I.L. with a .356 average beginning the weekend. They also have power in Mauro Gomez (15) and Luis Jimenez (13) home runs.

Lehigh Valley IronPigs

The rivalry has picked up over the years and when the teams meet on Thursday at Allentown’s Coca Cola Park to start a four-game series, it will be the first of 12 meetings this season.

In the rivalry between Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and Lehigh Valley, SWB has historically owned the `Pigs holding a 48-32 record in the series. The IronPigs have won just one season series, going 9-7 in 2010.

The RailRiders could be in for a few surprises this weekend when they travel down the Pennsylvania Turnpike as a few injured Phillies could be set for rehab assignments at that time in Chase Utley and Carlos Ruiz. That is just speculation, and so is the possibility that Carlos Zambrano, who signed a minor league contract with Philadelphia last month, could pitch for Lehigh Valley during the series.

The IronPigs have also been hot recently. Since being a season-low eight games under .500 at 16-24 on May 16, they have gone 14-7 since.

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