Eduardo Rodriguez hadn’t pitched at the big league level in over a month-and-a-half, but suffice to say he wasn’t too rusty Saturday night.
The Red Sox southpaw made his first start since July 14th and was stellar as Boston beat the Chicago White Sox 6-1 at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Rodriguez was activated from the disabled list earlier Saturday, and come nightfall he allowed just one run on three hits over 5 2/3 innings of work, striking out 12 and walking one.
Three of the Red Sox’s runs came via the long ball, with Eduardo Nunez, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Ian Kinsler all smacking solo shots.
With the win, the Red Sox climb to 94-43, while the White Sox fall to 54-82.
Here’s how it went down:
GAME IN A WORD
The Red Sox were in desperate need of a good performance, especially on the mound, and Rodriguez and the offense delivered.
ON THE BUMP
— Rodriguez wasted no time getting going Saturday night. The southpaw took a perfect game into the fifth inning, striking out 10 of the first 12 batters he faced over the opening four innings.
The 25-year-old allowed his first hit of the game in the fifth, a leadoff single to Matt Davidson, but got Yoan Moncada to ground into a double play the next at-bat. After Moncada, Rodriguez issued his first walk of the contest to Ryan LaMarre, but bounced back by punching out Omar Narvaez to end the stanza.
The lone damage Rodriguez allowed came in the sixth. The lefty surrendered a leadoff single to Yolmer Sanchez, but then got a pair of outs over the next two at-bats. With a runner on first, Nicky Delmonico drilled a double to left, which took Andrew Benintendi long enough to track down that it allowed the runner to score, cutting Boston’s two-run lead in half. The two-bagger ultimately marked the end of Rodriguez’s night.
— Ryan Brasier took over with a runner on second and two down, and the reliever struck out Avisail Garcia to end the frame and keep the lead intact.
Brasier returned for the seventh and allowed two singles to begin the inning, but stranded both runners thanks to a groundout and two strikeouts.
— Matt Barnes struck out two in a 1-2-3 eighth.
— Joe Kelly closed the door with a 1-2-3 ninth, punching out one.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— With Rodriguez cruising, Nunez got the Red Sox on the board first with a solo shot to left-center in the fifth. The ball hit the top of the fence and came back into play, but a review made it quite clear the ball went over.
Three batters later, Bradley stepped in and drilled a solo shot of his own into the Red Sox bullpen.
— With Boston’s lead at 2-1, it created a little separation in the seventh. Christian Vazquez began the frame with a walk and moved to third two batters later on a Mookie Betts double. Benintendi then hit a ball back to pitcher Carlos Rodon, but Rodon sailed the throw, which allowed Vazquez to score, making it 3-1.
Steve Pearce followed with an RBI single to score Betts, which upped the Red Sox’s advantage to 4-1. J.D. Martinez followed that up with a single to plate Benintendi, further extending Boston’s lead. Xander Bogaerts ended the inning by grounding into a double play.
— Kinsler added some insurance with an eighth-inning solo blast, his first dinger with the Red Sox, which brought the score to 6-1.
— Betts, Martinez and Bradley paced the Sox with two hits apiece.
— Pearce, Nunez and Kinsler each had one hit.
— Benintendi, Bogaerts and Vazquez all went hitless, as did Mitch Moreland during his pinch-hit at-bat in the ninth.
TWEET OF THE DAY
Solid night for E-Rod.
The Red Sox and White Sox will finish up their four-game set Sunday afternoon. Brian Johnson is set to get the ball for Boston and will be opposed by James Shields. First pitch from Guaranteed Rate Field is scheduled for 2:10 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Jim Young/USA TODAY Sports Images