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August 31, 2023 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Fitzgerald, Lugo both homer; Weiss makes Worcester debut

8/31 Cup of Coffee:
Two of the four games scheduled for Wednesday night were postponed due to inclement weather. To make matters worse, both minor-league affiliates that were in action lost. In Worcester, Ryan Fitzgerald homered while Zack Weiss made his organizational debut. In Portland, Matthew Lugo (pictured) went deep for the second time in his last four games.


Shane Drohan struggled in his 18th start of the season for Worcester. The 24-year-old lefty went just three innings, allowing three earned runs on five hits, four walks, and one hit batsman to go along with four strikeouts. All three of those runs crossed the plate in the top of the third as Drohan finished with 78 pitches (42 strikes). Out of the WooSox bullpen, Rio Gomez and Andrew Politi gave up three runs on five hits themselves. Zack Weiss, who was recently claimed off waivers from the Angels, struck out two of the six batters he faced over 1 1/3 scoreless frames of relief. Nick Robertson also fanned a pair in the process of putting up a zero in the ninth.

Two of Worcester's seven hits on Wednesday went for extra bases. Ryan Fitzgerald went 1 for 4 with a solo home run, his 12th of the season. Stephen Scott went 1 for 5 with an RBI triple that got the WooSox on the board in the bottom of the third inning. For Scott, it was just the fifth three-bagger of his professional career and his first at the Triple-A level. Ronaldo Hernandez led the way with two hits (both singles) and one RBI. Enmanuel Valdez went 1 for 2 with a walk and two runs scored before coming out of the game at the conclusion of the fifth inning for an undisclosed reason.


It was a rough night for the Sea Dogs pitching staff at Hadlock Field. CJ Liu went the first four innings, yielding two earned runs on two hits, four walks (tying a season-high), and four strikeouts. Only 35 of the 75 pitches he threw went for strikes. Ryan Miller put together the best performance of any Portland reliever, allowing only one run (on a solo home run) and striking out three over two innings. Ryan Zeferjahn was then tagged for six runs (five earned) in the seventh inning and was ultimately charged with the loss. From there, Brendan Cellucci and Luis Guerrero each surrendered two runs.

Blaze Jordan (1 for 4) got the Sea Dogs on the board with a two-run single in the first inning. Corey Rosier (1 for 5) followed with an RBI single in the bottom of the second and then stole his 46th base of the season. Matthew Lugo (1 for 3) extended his hitting streak to five games by crushing his fifth home run of the season to lead off the fourth inning. He crossed home plate once again in the sixth after drawing a walk, moving up to second base, and scoring on an RBI single off the bat of Alex Erro.


Brooklyn Cyclones (NYM), Greenville Drive (PPD)
This game was postponed after "a steady stream of heavy rain blanketed Fluor Field" earlier Wednesday night. It will be made up as part of a seven-inning doubleheader beginning at 5 p.m. Eastern time on Thursday evening.


Salem Red Sox, Augusta GreenJackets (ATL) (PPD)
As was the case in Greenville, this game was postponed due to inclement weather within the vicinity of Augusta's SRP Park. It will be made up as part of a single-admission, seven-inning doubleheader beginning at 5:05 p.m. Eastern time on Thursday evening.


Player of the Day: Matthew Lugo has not enjoyed a great deal of success in his first full season at the Double-A level, but the versatile 22-year-old is nonetheless putting the finishing touches on a solid month of August. In his last five games, for instance, Lugo has gone 9 for 16 (.563) with one double, two home runs, four RBIs, six runs scored, one stolen base, two walks, and six strikeouts. He is currently ranked as the No. 47 prospect in the organization.

Photo Credit: Matthew Lugo by Kelly O'Connor