With the season’s longest road trip behind them (nine games in ten days), the Thunder return to Waterfront Park to begin a seven-game homestand with a three-game set with the first place New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Toronto Blue Jays). New Hampshire brings the second-best road record in the Eastern League (21-14) to Trenton to take-on the Thunder, who possess the best home winning percentage in the league (.694). This is the third of four trips to central New Jersey for the Fisher Cats in 2011.
RHP Craig Heyer returns to the Thunder starting rotation after a brief stint in the team’s bullpen. Heyer hurled 6.1 innings of relief on Wednesday in Portland after starter Alan Horne could not record an out. In 11 starts this season, the righty is 5-3 with a 3.00 ERA. In one relief appearance and one start, Heyer is 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA against the Fisher Cats this season.
RHP Henderson Alvarez will make his eighth start of the season for New Hampshire tonight at Waterfront Park. The Venezuelan righty is 4-2 with a 2.30 ERA since being called up from Dunedin in late May. Alvarez has faced the Thunder once, a loss on June 5 when he surrendered five runs on seven hits in 4.1 innings.
The Bank of Princeton’s Hank’s Take it to the Bank: Rob Lyerly, in his Waterfront Park debut, will get a hit today. Season Stats: 29 wins, 41 losses (streak: W1)