For the second time on this road trip, the Thunder head into the final game of a series looking to avoid being swept. Trenton is currently on the season’s longest road trip (nine games) and has started the trip losing four of the first five games. The Thunder have won 11 of the first 16 contests with the Sea Dogs in 2011, and the two teams will meet for the final time this season tonight at Hadlock Field. After Thursday’s game, the Thunder head to New Britain, Connecticut, to take on the Rock Cats for the first time in 2011.
LHP Manny Banuelos will make his fourteenth start of the season tonight for the Thunder and his fifth in 2011 against the Sea Dogs. Last time out, the 20 year-old lefty took his first loss of the season when he gave up five runs in three innings on Friday in Binghamton. Banuelos is 1-0 with a 2.60 ERA against Portland this season.
RHP Chris Balcom-Miller will make his fifth career start at Double A as he takes on the Thunder for the first time tonight. Called up from Salem on May 31, the former Rockies farmhand is 1-2 with a 3.31 ERA through four outings with the Sea Dogs. On Friday in Akron, Balcom-Miller allowed two runs on five hits in 3.2 innings.
The Bank of Princeton’s Hank’s Take it to the Bank: The Thunder will steal a base tonight. Season Stats: 27 wins, 39 losses (streak: L1)