While the result wasn’t what the Boston Red Sox wanted Monday night, the news was positive elsewhere in New England.
Rehabbing starter Eduardo Rodriguez looked pretty sharp in his outing with Double-A Portland as he works his way back from ligament damage in his ankle following a collision at first base July 14. The left-hander struck out eight and allowed one hit over four scoreless innings, walking one.
Following the Red Sox’s 5-4 loss to the Cleveland Indians, Sox manager Alex Cora laid out the next steps for E-Rod after his rehab outing.
“We were just talking about it. Good stuff, I think the cutter was outstanding, I think he only had one opportunity to cover or to back up or something like that,” Cora said, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “He’ll come back and we’ll go through PFPs (pitchers fielding practice drills), the plan is for him probably to go another one, and we’ll go from there. Obviously we have to wait to see how he reacts from this one, but from everything I heard down there just now, he was outstanding.”
While the Red Sox can’t wait forever, they are in a position where they can be patient with Rodriguez.
David Price is anchoring the rotation, and both Rick Porcello and Nathan Eovaldi have been reliable. Brian Johnson has become a permanent and stable part of the rotation and Hector Velazquez — even Drew Pomernaz in a truly crisis situation — can make a spot start.
Though to a lesser degree than Chris Sale, the Red Sox definitely need Rodriguez back and at full strength. How he responds remains to be seen, but either way Monday was a good indication going forward.
Here are some other notes from Monday’s Red Sox-Indians game:
— By and large, Porcello delivered a solid outing for the Red Sox.
He was rolling through four innings before things fell by the wayside, allowing a home run in the fifth, sixth and seventh frames. His stuff was good, particularly his two-seam fastball, and he showed plenty of resolve, especially after getting drilled by a comebacker in the seventh.
Overall, his night finished after seven innings. He allowed five runs on six hits with as many strikeouts and one walk.
— Monday marked the Red Sox’s second consecutive loss, as they dropped a 2-0 decision to the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday.
While coming up short on back-to-back nights isn’t ideal, it has been exceedingly rare for Boston this season.
— Pomeranz’s season has been an abject failure so far, but he did deliver a solid performance in relief Monday.
The southpaw got the ball in the ninth inning and pitched a 1-2-3 stanza, striking out one. His fastball velocity was down again, topping out at 90 but regularly sitting in the high 80s, but his breaking ball was much more effective this time around.
— Jackie Bradley Jr. certainly has found his stroke at the plate, as he went 2-for-4 with a double in Monday’s loss.
The Sox center fielder now has recorded multiple hits in five of his last nine games.
Thumbnail photo via Adam Hunger/USA TODAY Sports