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Last updated: July 14. 2013 12:46AM - 975 Views
By DAVE ROSENGRANT



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The RailRiders have a slow week because of the Triple-A All-Star game Wednesday in Reno, Nev., so just four games will be played this week.


The three-day break begins after this afternoon’s game at Buffalo.


Here’s a look of what the RailRiders can expect this week.


Buffalo Bisons


The series concludes this afternoon with Brett Marshall (4-6, 5.99) taking on a once-brilliant MLB starter for the Blue Jays Ricky Romero (1-3, 6.15). This was a matchup on July 4 at PNC Field in which Marshall got the win and Romero the loss.


Marshall pitched a season-high eight innings, while Brent Lillibridge and Randy Ruiz homered off of Romero in the victory. The game started a brief three-game series between the clubs in which the RailRiders won both. For the season series, SWB has won five of the eight meetings prior to Saturday’s doubleheader.


The All-Star Game


A trio of RailRiders will head to the All-Star Game at Aces Ballpark. Outfielder Thomas Neal and ace pitcher Chris Bootcheck join skipper Dave Miley for the festivities, which includes Wednesday night’s game. The game can be seen live on MLB Network at 9 p.m. The Triple-A Home Run Derby will be Tuesday night.


Bootcheck, who started Game 1 of Saturday’s doubleheader versus Buffalo, entered that outing with an 8-2 record and a 3.59 earned run average and won his last three starts. He will make his second straight All-Star appearance, suiting up last year as a member of Toledo. He was also selected for the 2009 game when he played for Indianapolis.


Neal will participate in his first Triple-A All-Star Game but his fourth All-Star appearance in the last five years. Entering Saturday with a .326 batting average, Neal played in the Eastern League game twice, and the California League All-Star Game in 2009.


Miley is managing the Triple-A game for the third time. He previously skippered the 2008 club when he was with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees. His other time managing was 2002 as Louisville’s manager.


Louisville Bats


When the break ends, the top affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds comes to town for a four-game series beginning on Thursday.


The RailRiders and Bats are hooking up for the first time this season. Louisville is led by speed demon Billy Hamilton, who has swiped 52 bases already this season and began the season ranked as Cincinnati’s top prospect. He’s a two-time Futures Game selection and will play in today’s game in New York. Last year, Hamilton set a minor league record with 155 steals across High-A and Double-A.


Veteran infielder Mike Hessman is Louisville’s leader in home runs clubbing 21 and is the current active leader in minor league home runs with 391 over 18 seasons. His career-high came last year with Oklahoma City when he smashed 35.


The Bats are second in the I.L. West, but 12.5 games behind Indianapolis. They have the third-best ERA in the league at 3.64 and the third-lowest hits allowed giving up 788 in 851 innings this season.


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