You could argue Eduardo Rodriguez has been one of Boston’s best pitchers this season.
The Red Sox southpaw earned his team-leading 12th victory of the season Monday night after he tossed seven scoreless innings and gave up just two hits and struck out six in a 9-4 win over the Tampa Bay Rays.
“We were looking for him to go deep in the game and his stuff was outstanding,” manager Alex Cora said on NESN’s postgame coverage. “Good mix of fastballs and changeups … overall a good one.”
Rodriguez has been extremely reliable for the Sox, particularly over his last five starts. The left-hander has a 4-0 record with a 1.76 ERA. He’s tossed 30 2/3 innings during that stretch with 29 strikeouts.
“We know how good he can be. I think you get to a point in your career where you realize your stuff is good — really good — and you don’t have to be David (Price) or Chris (Sale) or Rick (Porcello),” Cora said. “You learn from them but at the end, your stuff is that good. He’s learning every outing. … Little by little he’s becoming the guy we envisioned. He’s a strong guy. I don’t think we have to put a limit with him. … He worked hard in the offseason, body-wise and you can see it. He’s doing an outstanding job.”
Here are some other notes from Monday’s Red Sox-Rays game:
— Nathan Eovaldi’s 2019 bullpen debut certainly didn’t go as planned.
The right-hander, who hasn’t pitched in a Major League Baseball game since April, was tagged for three runs on five hits in the eighth. Eovaldi only two outs in the inning before being pulled.
Some good news, however, is that his velocity looked good. Eovaldi’s two strikeouts came on pitches clocked at 97 and 99-mph.
— J.D. Martinez had himself a strong night at the plate, going 2-for-5 with four RBIs and a run.
His home run marked the 20th of the season, joining Rafael Devers and Xander Bogaerts as the only members of the team with at least 20 round-trippers.
“I was joking with him. That’s his first Florida home run playing for us,” Cora said. “(None) in spring training in back-to-back years and none in Miami, none in Tampa this year or last year.”
— The Red Sox rocked old friend Jalen Beeks in the third inning for seven runs, including three dingers, with Sam Travis and Andrew Benintendi going back-to-back.
This marked the second time Boston has hit three home runs in an inning. The first time came against the New York Yankees during the London series.
— Bogaerts and Devers have been quite the dynamic duo for Boston and continued to be a force for the team Monday night, combining for three RBIs and as many runs.
Devers’ RBIs bumped his total up to 77, while Bogaerts now has 76 on the season, putting them just behind the American League RBI leader Mike Trout, who has 79.
Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images