Boston Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez wasn’t brilliant against the Minnesota Twins, but the left-hander put his team in a good position to pick up the win.
Rodriguez hurled six innings Friday night at Target Field, giving up just three runs on seven hits with six strikeouts.
Unfortunately for the 24-year-old, the Red Sox only mustered one run off Twins starter Phil Hughes, who entered Friday’s contest with a 5.06 ERA. Boston mounted a comeback to tie the ballgame in the ninth inning, but Joe Mauer’s walk-off blast lifted Minnesota to a 4-3 win.
Squandering strong outings from starting pitchers has become a trend for the Sox through the first month-plus of the 2017 campaign. In fact, Boston has scored five or more runs in just three of its last 10 contests.
This trend especially is cause for concern given the current state of the Red Sox starting rotation. There’s no timetable for David Prices’s return, and Steven Wright’s knee surgery will sideline him for the remainder of the season.
Boston’s inability to capitalize on strong outings from its starters has translated into a mediocre 15-14 record. But if the Red Sox’s offense starts to wake up and the pitching continues to perform well, the Sox could begin to distance themselves from the pack in the American League East.
If not, these frustrating losses will continue to rack up.
Here are some other notes from Red Sox-Twins.
— Jackie Bradley Jr.’s struggles continued Friday. The Boston center fielder went 0-for-4 at the plate, dropping his season batting average to .175.
— Mauer’s walk-off home run was the first of his 14-year MLB career.
— Andrew Benintendi blasted his fourth home run of the season in the fourth inning, putting him one behind Hanley Ramirez for the team lead.
— Matt Barnes was shocked that Mauer was able to hit the pitch he threw to the first baseman out of the park.
“That pitch was six or seven inches above the strike zone,” Barnes said, as aired on NESN’s Red Sox postgame coverage. “But he’s been in the league for a long time. He’s a great hitter.”
Thumbnail photo via Jesse Johnson/USA TODAY Sports Images