Game 78: New Hampshire Fisher Cats (46-29) @ Trenton Thunder (45-32)

A barely 20 year-old Phil Hughes warms before a start at Waterfront Park in 2006 (New York Times).

Thunder beat writer Mike Ashmore joins Jay Burnham on the SBLI Pre-Game Show.

The Thunder are out to a solid start on this seven-game homestand with two wins over first place New Hampshire, clinching another home series victory (9-2-1). After sweeping New Hampshire in three games in early June, Phil Hughes and the Thunder have a chance to sweep the Fisher Cats again on Wednesday. This is the third of four trips to central New Jersey for the Fisher Cats in 2011. Trenton, who opened the 2011 season in New Hampshire, will return to Manchester just once more, in late August.

RHP Phil Hughes returns to Waterfront Park to make a rehab appearance with the Thunder after landing on the Yankees’ Disabled List in April with right shoulder inflammation. Hughes hurled 3.1 innings and gave up one run on Friday in New Britain. The righty was 10-3 with a 2.25 ERA in 21 starts in 2006 with the Thunder. An American League All-Star in 2010, Hughes won 18 games for the Yankees.

RHP Chad Jenkins will make his fourth career Double A start on Wednesday and will face the Thunder for the first career time. In his first three starts with New Hampshire, the righty from Chattanooga, TN has a win, a loss and a no decision under his belt. On Friday, Jenkins hurled six innings at home against Portland, giving up three runs on five hits.

The Bank of Princeton’s Hank’s Take it to the Bank: Phil Hughes will last at least five innings in his rehab start today. Season Stats: 30 wins, 42 losses (streak: L1)

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