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May 25, 2023 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Jordan stays hot with homer; Blalock makes first start since Tommy John

5/25 Cup of Coffee:
With Portland getting rained out and Greenville playing two, Boston's minor-league affiliates went a collective 1-3 on Wednesday. Bobby Dalbec homered, but Shane Drohan struggled in his second Triple-A start as Worcester was blown out by Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. After getting shut out in Game 1, Blaze Jordan (pictured) and the recently-promoted Dalton Rogers led Greenville to a commanding win in the nightcap of its doubleheader against Rome. Down in Salem, Bradley Blalock made his long-awaited return to the mound and Cutter Coffey doubled twice as the Red Sox fell to the Nationals.

Shane Drohan did not have the best of times in his second Triple-A start. The left-hander was rocked for five earned runs on six hits, three walks, and one hit batsman in just 2 2/3 innings of work. Three of those five runs came on a three-run home run off the bat of old friend Franchy Cordero, who collected four RBIs as part of a three-hit day. All four relievers Worcester used gave up at least one run as well. 

Cordero's former teammate, Bobby Dalbec, accounted for both of Worcester's runs with a two-run homer in the sixth inning. It was good for Dalbec's eighth big fly of the season and his side's lone extra-base hit. Niko Goodrum went 2 for 3 with a run scored and Nick Sogard went 2 for 4 with a pair of singles. Sogard is now batting .323 (20 for 62) in May.


Portland Sea Dogs, New Hampshire Fisher Cats (PPD)
Grant Gambrell's first home start as a member of the Sea Dogs will have to wait. Wednesday's contest between Portland and New Hampshire was postponed due to rain. It will be made up as part of a single-admission, seven-inning doubleheader at Hadlock Field on Saturday, May 27. 


After blanking Rome on Tuesday, Greenville was shut out for the first time this season in Game 1 of Wednesday's twin bill. Juan Daniel Encarnacion, making his eighth start of the year for the Drive, allowed five runs (three earned) on five hits, zero walks, one hit batsman, and five strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings. Fellow righty Graham Hoffman recorded the final two outs of the sixth inning by inducing a pair of groundouts.

Offensively, Brainer Bonaci, Blaze Jordan, and Nick Decker were the only three members of Greenville's lineup to reach base.

On the same day he was promoted from Salem, Dalton Rogers made his High-A debut on Wednesday night. Over 4 1/3 innings of work, the 2022 third-rounder yielded just one run on three hits, four walks, and seven strikeouts. He finished with 89 pitches (54 strikes) and induced 13 swings-and-misses. In relief of Rogers, Christopher Troye fanned four over 1 2/3 scoreless frames to earn the win before Robert Kwiatkowski came on and retired the side in order in the seventh. 

Blaze Jordan paced the Greenville lineup by going 3 for 4 and finishing a triple shy of the cycle. The 20-year-old slugger crushed a two-run home run in the first inning for his sixth big fly of the season and then drove in a pair of runs with a seventh-inning single. Eduardo Lopez also plated two with a single in the top of the sixth. Eddinson Paulino reached base three times out of the leadoff spot and scored two runs. Kier Meredith drew two walks and tripled for the first time this season. 


Bradley Blalock reached an important milestone on Wednesday by pitching in an affiliated game for the first time since undergoing Tommy John surgery last March. The 22-year-old righty went four innings in his first start since September 2021, allowing one run on one hit, one walk, and three strikeouts. He needed just 44 pitches (26 strikes) to get through four effective frames. Out of the Salem bullpen, Railin Perez surrendered one run over two innings before Caleb Bolden and Jonathan Brand got tagged for five total runs in a rough top of the ninth.

Cutter Coffey led the way offensively for Salem by going 2 for 4 with two doubles and two RBIs out of the three-hole. Leadoff man Roman Anthony drew two walks, scored one run, and stole his 11th base of the season. Birthday boy Allan Castro also swiped a bag and scored a run as part of a 1-for-5 night at the plate.


Player of the Day: Between Games 1 and 2 of Greenville's doubleheader, Blaze Jordan went 4 for 7 with one double, one homer, four RBIs, and two runs scored on Wednesday. The right-handed hitting infielder has hits in eight of his last nine games and is now batting .329 (25 for 76) in 19 games this month. He is currently ranked as the No. 17 prospect in the organization. 

Photo Credit: Blaze Jordan by Kelly O'Connor