PORTLAND – The double was nice. But even without the line drive to right field, Stephen Drew was pleased Thursday night.

Drew, the Red Sox shortstop who is making a two-day rehab appearance with the Portland Sea Dogs, went 1 for 4. He grounded out, struck out, popped out and then hit the RBI double.

“After so many days not seeing pitches, it was good to get back in the box,” Drew said.

“The leg is feeling good.”

Drew is on the disabled list with a strained hamstring muscle suffered when he hustled for a double against Toronto on June 29. It is the second DL stint for Drew this year. He suffered a concussion in spring training and made a rehab appearance with the Sea Dogs on April 4 in Portland’s home opener. He went 0 for 3 with an RBI.

Drew was the DH on Thursday. Friday night he is scheduled to play shortstop, lead off and play five innings.

If all goes well, Drew will rejoin the Red Sox on Saturday.

HENRY OWENS is not pitching for the Sea Dogs yet, but after taking part in a combined no-hitter Wednesday, he can’t be too far away.

Owens, who turns 21 on Sunday, is one of the top Red Sox pitching prospects and currently with the advanced Class A Salem (Va.) Red Sox. Salem no-hit the Frederick Keys in a 6-0 victory Wednesday.

Owens, a lefty, started and threw six innings, allowing four walks and striking out 10. Relievers Matty Ott (two innings) and Matt Price (one inning) finished the job.

Owens is now 7-4 with a 2.93 ERA, and 107 strikeouts and 47 walks in 92 innings.

Sea Dogs reliever Noe Ramirez is a friend of Owens and was a teammate in Salem until Ramirez was promoted June 29.

“His change-up is really good, really deceiving,” said Ramirez. “His fastball gets up to 95 and then his change-up is 80, 82.

“And he’s pretty mature for his age. He knows the game really well.”

Ramirez sent all three pitchers congratulatory text messages Wednesday night.

“Three pitchers, a no-hitter. That’s tough to keep it going,” he said.

Owens might fit in well with the Sea Dogs rotation, which is missing a starter since Charlie Haeger was promoted to Pawtucket.

Owens’ next scheduled start is Monday — a day when the Sea Dogs have a doubleheader.

They could use an extra arm.

ANTHONY RANAUDO, who was taken off the roster last week when he left the team to pitch in the Major League All-Stars Futures Game on Sunday, will be activated Friday and make the start for the Sea Dogs.

Ranaudo (8-2) leads the Red Sox full-season minor leaguers with a 2.67 ERA. He pitched last week in both the Futures Game and the Eastern League All-Star Game. Neither outing went well, with Ranaudo giving up five runs over 12/3 innings.

“It didn’t go the way I wanted to but it was fun,” Ranaudo said of the two All-Star games. “A great experience; something I’ll remember the rest of my life.”

NOTES: Reliever Pete Ruiz came off the disabled list, recovered from tightness in his forearm. Reliever Chris Balcom-Miller went on the disabled list with elbow inflammation. Outfielder Juan Carlos Linares, who was promoted to Pawtucket last week, went on the Triple-A disabled list with a bruised left hand. Among Friday night’s promotions is Mike Piazza’s dog tricks, performing between innings.

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: @ClearTheBases


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