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April 15, 2023 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Paxton hits 97; Drohan dominates for Portland

4/15 Cup of  Coffee:
It was a quiet night offensively with Salem rained out, but there were a few significant pitching performances on Friday night. James Paxton showed good stuff in his second rehab start in Worcester as he nears a return to the majors. Shane Drohan turned in another stellar outing for the Sea Dogs, while Wikelman Gonzalez started out hot before faltering for the Drive. 


A successful rehab start for James Paxton was not enough for Worcester on Friday night. Paxton's fastball reached 97 mph and averaged 95 as he struck out six over 3 1/3. He got pulled after hitting 70 pitches. He did allow two runs on four hits and two walks. Matt Dermody was the next man up, allowing five runs over four innings. He struck out eight and walked two but also gave up two home runs. The WooSox managed four hits on offense, with David Hamilton going 1 for 4 with a walk and a stolen base. Niko Goodrum reached base three times, going 1 for 2 with two walks. 


Shane Drohan fired six shutout innings as the Sea Dogs topped the Fisher Cats. Drohan allowed only three hits and struck out six without walking a batter. SoxProspects.com Director of Scouting Ian Cundall attended the game and noted that Drohan hit 95 with his fastball while holding his velocity between 92-93 into the sixth inning. That is now 11 scoreless innings to open the year for Drohan as he tries to work his way into the top 10 in the system. Theo Denlinger pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings of relief, and Brendan Nail got out of a bases-loaded jam in the ninth to earn the save. 

The offense was quiet, with a Stephen Scott double representing the only extra-base hit. Tyler Dearden went 2 for 4 and drove in two of the team's three runs, and Niko Kavadas went 1 for 2 with two walks and a stolen base. 


Asheville scored a run in the top of the ninth to earn the win. Wikelman Gonzalez was dominant in the first inning while striking out the side, but he ran into trouble in the second. He walked three and gave up two runs on two hits. He was pulled after the inning as he sat at 53 pitches already. Robert Kwiatkowski gave up two runs over three innings, and Alex Hoppe struck out three over two shutout frames. Jaret Godman gave up the go-ahead run in the ninth on a wild pitch. On offense, Bryan Gonzalez went 2 for 4 with a triple and an RBI, and Eddinson Paulino went 1 for 4 with a triple and a walk. 


Salem Red Sox @ Carolina Mudcats (MIL), PPD (rain)
The game was postponed, with a doubleheader now slated for Saturday.


Player of the Day: Shane Drohan continues to look impressive early on in Portland. He moved to 2-0 and has yet to allow a run while striking out 11 batters in 11 innings. He has also issued only one walk as his numbers are dominant across the board. Drohan has always been an athletic left-hander, and he is showing signs that he is putting it all together. He had a good year in 2022 and was named a 2022 SoxProspects.com All-Star, but an increase in his fastball velocity and improvement of his command has him setting his sights even higher in 2023. 

Photo Credit: Shane Drohan by Kelly O'Connor