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April 27, 2023 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Drohan and Ramirez turn in solid starts; Jordan extends hitting streak


4/27 Cup of Coffee
: Boston's minor-league affiliates went 1-3 on Wednesday, with Portland accounting for the only win thanks to another strong start from Shane Drohan (pictured). Fellow southpaw Chris Murphy ground through 4 2/3 innings of one-run ball in a Worcester loss while right-hander Jose Ramirez lowered his ERA with Salem to 0.69. And although not too much went right for Greenville in a blowout loss, Blaze Jordan extended his hitting streak to nine games with a pair of singles.
 
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Chris Murphy wrapped up his month of April with an uneven start at Polar Park. The left-hander allowed just one run on three hits and five strikeouts over 4 2/3 innings, but he also issued four walks and hit a batter. In relief of Murphy, Andrew Politi gave up one run in the sixth and Jake Faria gave up two runs (one earned) in the eighth. On the flip side, Joe Jacques and Oddanier Mosqeuda combined for two scoreless frames out of the bullpen. 

Wilyer Abreu was responsible for Worcester's only run of the night. The leadoff man went 2 for 5 with a third-inning, run-scoring single that was aided by two errors and a first-inning single. Bobby Dalbec also singled and doubled out of the two-hole while Daniel Palka drew two walks out of the cleanup spot. Narciso Crook stole his fourth base of the year.

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Shane Drohan did not miss a beat in his fourth start of the year for Portland. The 24-year-old lefty allowed just one earned run on two hits, one walk, and one hit batsman to go along with seven strikeouts over six strong innings of work. He finished with 94 pitches (63 strikes) and induced 17 swings-and-misses. Out of the Sea Dogs' bullpen, Jacob Webb and Ryan Fernandez combined for three scoreless frames of relief. 

Stephen Scott paced the Portland lineup by going 4 for 4 with an RBI and a run scored. Ceddanne Rafaela went 3 for 5 with an RBI and run scored while Nick Yorke doubled as part of a two-hit effort. Edwin Diaz went deep in the fifth inning for his second home run of the season and his second in his last two games. Alex Binelas also hit a two-run double and Phillip Sikes stole his sixth base of the season.

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Not much went right for the Greenville pitching staff on Wednesday night. Starter Wikelman Gonzalez surrendered seven runs (six earned) on three hits and seven walks to go along with three strikeouts over just 2 1/3 innings of work. Only 32 of the 75 pitches Gonzalez threw went for strikes. The 21-year-old righty now owns an ERA of 15.58 through four starts this season. In relief of Gonzalez, Jordan DiValerio yielded a solo home run in the top of the fifth. Robert Kwiatkowski also got taken deep twice in the seventh and Christopher Troye served up a grand slam in the eighth before striking out two in a scoreless ninth. 

Blaze Jordan extended his hitting streak to nine games by going 2 for 4 with a run scored. Max Ferguson and Eduardo Lopez each went 1 for 4 with a run-scoring single and a stolen base. Chase Meidroth and Marcelo Mayer drew two walks apiece. 

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Jose Ramirez was solid in his third start of the season for Salem. The 22-year-old right-hander allowed just one unearned run on one hit, no walks, and four strikeouts over five innings of work. That lone run came as a result of a pair of errors in the bottom of the third. Besides that, Ramirez finished with 61 pitches (38 strikes) and lowered his ERA to 0.69. Out of the Salem bullpen, Felix Cepeda struck out three in two scoreless innings of relief. Caleb Bolden then got tagged for two runs on three hits and one walk in the eighth.

Salem's lone run came on a sacrifice fly from Miguel Bleis in the top of the fifth. Bleis also singled and walked as part of a 1 for 3 night at the plate. Lyonell James accounted for Salem's only other hit when he singled in the sixth inning. Allan Castro, Albert Feliz, and Karson Simas each drew two walks as well.

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Player of the Day: With yet another impressive start on Wednesday, Shane Drohan will likely be a frontrunner for Eastern League Pitcher of the Month honors. In four April starts, the Florida State product posted a minuscule 0.78 ERA with 26 strikeouts to just four walks over 23 innings pitched. He is currently regarded as Boston's No. 12 prospect, and fourth among pitchers in the organization.

Photo Credit: Shane Drohan by Kelly O'Connor