Eduardo Rodriguez has been a bright spot in an otherwise gloomy season for the Boston Red Sox.
The southpaw wasn’t credited with the win, but spun another gem in Saturday night’s 2-1 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Rodriguez struck out 12 Phillies in his outing, a season high for the left-hander and the sixth time in his career he’s reached double-digit strikeouts.
Rodriguez struck out 10 batters May 15 against the Colorado Rockies and again July 12 against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
His season has earned him heaps of praise from manager Alex Cora, and Saturday night was no different.
“Excellent, excellent again. His stuff was outstanding,” he said on NESN’s Red Sox postgame coverage. ” … He’s throwing like an ace. We’re very happy with the progress. The fact that it’s Sept. 14, 15, and he’s as strong as early in the season. That’s good to see.”
Rodriguez wasn’t able to pick up win No. 18 after leaving in the seventh in a 1-1 tie, but still has a chance at 20 wins this season.
“Eduardo’s pitching on Thursday again, Thursday, Tuesday, Sunday,” Cora said. “I think that’s how it works.”
His start Saturday just added to his impressive résumé over his Rodriguez’s last six games when he went 4-1 with a 1.15 ERA over 39 innings pitched. He also had 44 strikeouts during that stretch.
Here are some other notes from Saturday’s Red Sox-Phillies game:
— Mookie Betts, who was a late scratch from Saturday’s lineup with a sore foot, won’t be in Sunday’s lineup as the Sox look to sweep the series.
“It’ll be alright. … I think I should be alright,” Betts said on NESN’s Red Sox postgame coverage. “I really don’t know how it happened … it is what it is.”
The outfielder revealed he had “turf toe” and is taking the soreness “day by day.”
— Josh Taylor has continued to be strong on the mound since being called back up to the Red Sox for a second big-league stint June 14. He got the Sox out of a bases-loaded jam in the seventh, taking over for Rodriguez and getting an inning-ending strikeout.
He’s gone 2-2 with an impressive 2.01 ERA over 40 1/3 innings with 54 strikeouts.
— Christian Vazquez accounted for two of Boston’s six hits, including a clutch hit-and-run that put Chris Owings into scoring position before Andrew Benintendi hit a sacrifice fly to bring in the winning run.
“We do feel like he’s trying to get (home run) No. 20 out of the way. He’s been swinging hard and his wing is getting longer,” Cora said. “The last day in Toronto we had lunch with Carlos Delgado and we were talking about trying to reach milestones … and Carlos talked to him and was like, ‘Dude, the less you try, the better it’s going to be. … You will hit one home run in a month … don’t put pressure on yourself.’ ”
— Brandon workman picked up his 13th win of the season. His ERA now is 2.07.