Eduardo Rodriguez crumbled in a hurry.
Rodriguez, who has had success in his rookie campaign, suffered his third major implosion of the season Monday as the Boston Red Sox lost Game 1 of their doubleheader against the Los Angeles Angles 11-1.
A helicopter dried off the outfield at Angel Stadium of Anaheim before Monday’s twin bill. Rodriguez probably wishes he hopped on it and skipped town. It simply wasn’t his day.
GAME IN A WORD
The Angels completely flattened Rodriguez as they scored seven runs in the second inning. Rodriguez surrendered six hits (three singles, two homers and a double) and issued a walk in the frame before Red Sox manager John Farrell pulled the plug. The 1 2/3-inning effort marked the shortest start of Rodriguez’s big league career.
Rodriguez also abruptly fell apart June 14 against the Toronto Blue Jays and June 25 against the Baltimore Orioles, so this isn’t the 22-year-old’s first taste of adversity. It sure isn’t appetizing.
IT WAS OVER WHEN…
Albert Pujols crushed his 27th home run of the season to give the Angels a 7-0 lead and knock Rodriguez from the game. It was like he knew exactly what Rodriguez was going to throw. He jumped all over it.
Rodriguez threw 18 pitches in the second inning while being knocked around. And one really can narrow down his disastrous window to a 10-pitch span.
After finishing a free pass to C.J. Cron with one out and one on, Rodriguez served up five hits, including two homers, to the next six batters on just nine pitches — three batters jumped on the first pitch and three batters saw two pitches.
Kole Calhoun, who launched two home runs in Friday night’s series opener, preceded Pujols’ second-inning homer with his third blast of the series. Hanley Ramirez contributed to the mess before that by misplaying a fly ball to left field that resulted in a double.
ON THE BUMP
— Rodriguez’s day, as mentioned, was incredibly ugly. He allowed seven earned runs on six hits and three walks over 1 2/3 innings to suffer his third loss. His ERA jumped from 3.59 to 4.64.
The implosion was even more problematic for the Red Sox because it taxed their bullpen — something they absolutely wanted to avoid in the first game of a doubleheader.
— Noe Ramirez, who was recalled Saturday from Triple-A Pawtucket, was on the mound as the Angels tacked on four runs in the fourth inning. None of them were earned, but don’t let that fool you.
Pablo Sandoval committed an error with two outs in the fourth inning. Ramirez promptly surrendered a run-scoring single to Erick Aybar and a three-run homer to David Freese.
— Robbie Ross Jr. struck out three over three scoreless innings. It was nothing more than mop-up duty, but the left-hander pitched well.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— Mike Napoli snapped the Red Sox’s 21 1/3-inning scoreless drought to open the second half by delivering an RBI single in the fourth inning. He also struck out three times.
— Xander Bogaerts, Shane Victorino and Sandoval each had two hits.
— Dustin Pedroia, who returned from the disabled list Friday, was removed after three plate appearances with the game out of reach. The Red Sox obviously are playing it safe with the second baseman.
Pedroia went 0-for-2 with a walk and a strikeout. He’s now 0-for-10 since his activation.
— The Red Sox left nine men on base. That includes leaving the bases loaded in the second inning, when Angels starter Hector Santiago struck out Ryan Hanigan and Mookie Betts.
The Sox forced Santiago to throw 31 pitches in the opening inning while building a threat, yet they couldn’t capitalize on the left-hander’s early workload.
— Boston has scored one run in its first three games (27 innings) since the All-Streak.
TWEET OF THE GAME
Not saying Rodriguez is tipping, but when the whole world knows he was teams will search and search and might find something else.—
Alex Cora (@ac13alex) July 20, 2015
The Red Sox and Angels break for just a couple of hours before returning to action for the second game of their doubleheader. Game 2 is scheduled for 10 p.m. ET.
The Red Sox will stay the night in California after their second game against the Angels. They’ll travel to Houston on Tuesday morning for the start of a three-game series against the Astros on Tuesday night.
Thumbnail photo via Kelvin Kuo/USA TODAY Sports Images
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