Eduardo Rodriguez is somehow 4-0 to start the season following a 5-3 win over the Seattle Mariners to split the series.
They haven’t all been pretty — Sunday certainly wasn’t — but the lefty has gotten the job done to earn his title as the Boston Red Sox’s No. 1 guy.
“That’s what aces do, right?” manager Alex Cora said after the game in his postgame media availability. “They put the team on their back and they carry us to a W.”
The Red Sox are foolishly successful (49-12 with an .803 winning percentage) when Rodriguez, who missed the 2020 season due to complications of COVID-19, gets the start since the beginning of the 2018 season. They’ve won his last eight starts, and are 18-3 in his last 21 outings.
Against the Mariners in particular, he showed a lot of mental toughness.
Rodriguez gave up back-to-back doubles in the first inning, allowing one run to score, but settled into his game and managed to work through a hairy fifth.
He ultimately went seven innings while allowing three earned runs off six hits. He struck out eight and did not issue a walk.
“It didn’t start well, but the fact that he’s throwing so many strikes and getting swing-and-misses, it’s good,” Cora said. “He was able to elevate with the fastball, use his cutter, the changeup and gave us seven strong.
“It feels like he was grinding on the mound and it didn’t look perfect, but at the end, he gave us seven strong and we needed that one, we needed an outing like that.”
Eduardo is undefeated in four starts, striking out 26 batters in 23 innings with just two walks in that stretch. His ERA now is 3.52 after Sunday.
Here are some other notes from Red Sox-Mariners:
— J.D. Martinez had two doubles in a performance where he was 2-for-3 with a run and a walk. Xander Bogaerts also doubled with an RBI. The duo racked up their 30th hits of the season by the end of the game, tied with only each other for the most in Major League Baseball.
— Other than that, hits were hard to come by. Walks weren’t, though, and Boston benefitted from seven, the team’s most drawn in a single game this season.
— Christian Arroyo took a pitch hard to his wrist in the bottom of the first inning.
Getting on base helped them score a run, but the pain visibly impacted the second baseman through the game despite making some plays defensively.
“He’s gonna get X-rays right now, hurt pretty bad but he was able to play defense,” Cora said after the game. “I told him just don’t worry about your at-bats, you know, if you can play defense just grind it out, and he did.”
— Marwin Gonzalez had to play shortstop with Alex Verdugo out of the lineup at the last minute, and was excellent defensively. His day in the field was highlighted by a wonderful glove flip to help turn a double play in the eighth inning.
“Marwin played excellent shortstop and a good all around game, they played good defense,” Cora said.
— Boston improves to 8-8 at Fenway Park with the win. They haven’t lost a series since their opening one to the Baltimore Orioles.
— After the longest home stand of the season, the Red Sox get a day off Monday and hit the road for a two-game set against the New York Mets on Tuesday. First pitch is at 7:10 p.m. ET.