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SoxProspects News

June 8, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Drohan fans 14, Uberstine fires immaculate inning


6/8 Cup of Coffee:
Six affiliates were on the schedule Tuesday for the first time this season, as the complex leagues joined up with the full-season squads. The heavy-hitting Dominican Summer League Blue team was the only one to come away with a victory, but the day saw some impressive individual performances and important milestones. Shane Drohan (pictured) and Tyler Uberstine were both having excellent appearances on the mound for Greenville and Salem that were ultimately spoiled by decisive homers late in the outings. Ceddanne Rafaela and Reidis Sena were among those making debuts at a new level after a promotion, Nick Yorke made his return to the Greenville lineup, and Marcelo Mayer went deep for Salem.

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Worcester Red Sox @ Buffalo Bisons (TOR), postponed
The Bisons planned to host a School Kids game with a morning start time, but as so often happens upstate, the weather had no interest in complying. They'll try for a doubleheader Wednesday, but with a more traditional 5 p.m. start time, kids will need a different excuse to play hooky.

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Ceddanne Rafaela made his Double-A debut but did not record a hit as Portland lost its series opener at Hadlock Field. Rafaela slotted into the second spot in the lineup, playing center field, following a stint that saw him leading the South Atlantic League in batting average (.330), hits 65), and runs (37) at the time of his promotion. Christian Koss tied the game with a solo home run to lead off the fourth inning, his sixth of the season. Pedro Castellanos was 3 for 4 with a double and two runs scored. Tyler Dearden and Kole Cottam added two hits apiece. Starter Brett Kennedy took the loss, allowing five runs on six hits in six innings. Rio Gomez, Caleb Simpson, and Oddanier Mosqueda each pitched a scoreless inning of relief.

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Shane Drohan turned in a record-setting start despite getting saddled with the loss. The 2020 fifth-round pick faced 22 batters in 5 2/3 innings and struck out 14 of them. Those 14 strikeouts set a new Greenville Drive franchise record, breaking the mark of 13 set by Brayan Bello set on July 13, 2019. He allowed just three hits, but two of them left the yard, resulting in four runs (three of which were earned). Drohan walked only one batter, throwing 60 of his 86 pitches for strikes, and now has 71 strikeouts in 53 2/3 innings on the year. Nick Yorke returned to the Greenville lineup after missing two weeks with turf toe, going 1 for 4 with a run scored. Matthew Lugo blasted his sixth home run of the season. 

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It was an eventful day on the mound for the Sox to start their series in Charleston. Reidis Sena got the start, making his first appearance of the season. The 21-year-old right-hander impressed last season in the Florida Complex League had an easy first inning but ran into trouble in the second. He allowed three runs (one earned) on two hits in 1 2/3 innings, striking out two and walking one. Sena's appearance moved scheduled starter Tyler Uberstine (pictured, right) into a piggyback role. The change didn't seem to affect him, as he entered in the third with an immaculate inning. Two swinging strikes, six called strikes, and a foul ball gave the 23-year-old Northwestern product the rare feat. Uberstine continued to roll through 4 2/3 scoreless frames, but surrendered back-to-back solo home runs in the seventh inning that gave Charleston a lead it would not relinquish. Overall, Uberstine allowed two runs on four hits in five innings of work, striking out seven against two walks.

The Salem lineup managed just three hits off a pair of Charleston hurlers. Marcelo Mayer blasted a solo home run that knotted the game at 3-3 in the fifth inning. The 2021 first-rounder now has nine extra-base hits in his last 11 games. Philip Sikes continues to reach base at a remarkable rate. He was 1 for 2 with two walks and a stolen base on Tuesday. In his last six games, Sikes has gone 7 for 12 with 10 walks on his way to a .583/.783/1.167 slash line.  

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A two-run comeback by the Sox tie up the contest in the top of the ninth, but the Braves walked off with the victory. Jedixson Paez got the start, allowing three runs on five hits in five innings. Paez, currently 59th in the SoxProspects.com rankings, struck out three and walked one in his stateside debut. Johnfrank Salazar recorded the lineup's only multi-hit effort, going 2 for 4 with a double. Ahbram Liendo and Bryan Gonzalez both singled and scored a run in the loss.

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Hits were hard to come by in the other affiliates, but the Dominican squad made up for it with a 24-hit, 15-run romp in its home opener. Marvin Alcantara led the way, going 4 for 6 with a double, four RBI, and two runs scored. Andy Lugo also had four hits, while Diego Rodriguez tripled and scored three times during his three-hit afternoon. Willian Colmenares was impressive in his first professional start, scattering three hits across three innings, striking out six against just one walk. 

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Player of the Day: Despite exiting on a sour note, it was a noteworthy performance by left-hander Shane Drohan. The 23-year-old out of Florida State supplemented his usual fastball and curveball with an impressive changeup on his way to recording a team record 14 strikeouts. He lifted his K rate from 27.7 percent entering the contest to 31.1 percent when he departed. He now ranks second in the South Atlantic League in strikeouts.

Photo Credit: Shane Drohan, Tyler Uberstine by Kelly O'Connor