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May 5, 2023 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Drohan dominates to lead combined one-hitter

5/5 Cup of Coffee:
Hits were hard to come by on a Thursday that featured two one-hitters: one doled out by Portland pitchers, and the other the Salem lineup was on the receiving end of. The Portland gem was started by the scorching-hot Shane Drohan (pictured), who celebrated his SoxProspects.com Pitcher of the Month award by bringing a no-hit bid into the fifth inning and settled for his fifth win in five starts. Worcester split a doubleheader that featured an "away" game at Polar Park, while Greenville saw its rally fall short. Drohan's mastery and the silencing of the Salem bats overshadowed another strong performance by starter Jose Ramirez, who suffered a tough-luck loss.


The WooSox were victorious in the opener of Thursday's twin bill, powered by a two-run fourth-inning homer off the bat of David Hamilton. It is the sixth home run of the season for Hamilton, who didn't reach that total in 2022 until July 4th. Bobby Dalbec had a double and a run scored as part of a 2-for-3 effort, and Caleb Hamilton also doubled in the win. Bryan Mata allowed one run on two hits in four innings, but his control was again a concern. He walked six batters against just one strikeout and needed 86 pitches to complete the four frames. Joely Rodriguez made his first rehab appearance as he works his way back from an oblique injury, firing a scoreless fifth inning to get credited with the win. Jake Faria and Chase Shugart also submitted a scoreless inning apiece.

Thursday's doubleheader had been the result of a rainout in the season's first full series out in Buffalo, which led to Worcester playing "away" in the Polar Park nightcap. Worcester managed just three hits, all singles, giving Matt Dermody the tough-luck loss. Dermody pitched a six-inning complete game, allowing two runs on five hits, striking out five without issuing a walk.


Shane Drohan was once again superb for Portland. He retired the first 12 batters he faced, losing the perfect game bid on an error to start the fifth and the no-hitter later that inning. In all, he allowed just one hit in six shutout innings, striking out four and walking two. He lowered his ERA to a microscopic 0.62, and he has now surrendered just 14 hits in 29 innings pitched. Ryan Miller struck out four in two perfect innings, and Luis Guerrero punched out one in the ninth to preserve the one-hitter for the Sea Dogs.  

A Corey Rosier solo home run in the third was the only extra-base hit of the evening and was also the only support that Drohan and company would need. Nick Yorke added an RBI single, the first hit of May for the reigning SoxProspects.com Player of the Month. 


Greenville clawed its way back after falling in an early 7-1 hole, but it was not enough to prevent its first loss of the series. Juan Daniel Encarnacion never found his groove, allowing seven runs (six earned) on six hits in five innings. Nate Tellier and Christopher Troye kept things close with a combined three scoreless frames. Tyler Miller had the only extra-base hit for the Drive, his sixth double of the season. Eduardo Lopez singled, walked, stole a base, and scored a pair of runs during his 1-for-3 night. Marcelo Mayer drove in a pair with a base hit during Greenville's four-run fifth-inning rally.


Drohan didn't lead the only one-hitter in a Boston-affiliated game on Thursday. Fayetteville hurlers Nolan DeVos and Trey Dombroski carried a combined no-hitter into the ninth until Albert Feliz grounded a base hit into left field. Feliz was promptly thrown out trying to stretch the single into a double. Jose Ramirez had the misfortunate to draw the opposing start for Salem. He actually carried a no-hitter of his own into the fourth and finished with two runs allowed, both unearned, on two hits over five innings. Ramirez struck out six and walked three. His 0.50 ERA outpaces even Drohan's as the best in the organization among pitchers with more than eight innings. Luis Talavera returned to the mound for the first time since April 15, delivering a scoreless sixth. Nathanael Cruz made his 2023 debut in the seventh, surrendering two runs (again, both unearned) on two hits in an inning of work.


Player of the Day: Shane Drohan has started five games this season and he has been Player of the Day five times. In 29 innings, he's allowed just two runs on 14 hits, striking out 30 batters and walking six. Batters are hitting just .140 against the left-hander, sporting an OPS of .336. Unquestionably the system's breakout performer of early 2023, Drohan was 26th in the system at the end of 2022 and has already leaped up to fifth on the SoxProspects.com rankings.

Photo Credit: Shane Drohan by Kelly O'Connor