Eduardo Rodriguez was back on the mound for the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park for the first time since the 2019 finale.
The southpaw pitched six-plus innings of three-hit ball while giving up two earned runs and striking out six with one walk in Boston’s 4-2 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday night. Rodriguez now is 3-0 on the season.
Red Sox fans have not seen Rodriguez at Fenway Park since he was going for his 20th win about 18 months ago. So one would think there may be a bit of extra emotion behind Tuesday’s start, right?
“Not really,” manager Alex Cora said postgame. “I keep saying for 5,000 people this place is loud. It’s fun. That was a good ovation for (Rodriguez). … I think he’s past the emotional side of it, not pitching last year, all that stuff. He’s locked in on what he has to do. He’s been great for us in three starts.
It was a special moment for Rodriguez to be back in front of his home crowd.
“I was really excited as soon as I went out there,” Rodriguez said. “It feels amazing to be back here, to step on the mound, be able to compete, that feels really good to me. Something special for me to get back out there.”
The southpaw added he felt good about what his stuff Tuesday night, with his two mishaps coming by way of solo home runs.
But Rodriguez is off to a solid start for the Red Sox, which is more than they could have asked for.
Here are some other notes from Tuesday’s Red Sox-Blue Jays game:
— Xander Bogaerts got the home run monkey off his back when he lifted a three-run shot into the Green Monster to give the Red Sox a 3-1 lead.
“I know he’s gonna hit at least 35 this year,” Rodriguez said. “That’s my bet with him … I know he’s gonna go for it.”
The bet, though, isn’t one Bogaerts seems confident in taking.
“Wrong guy, not me,” Bogaerts said. “I’m far from 35 this year on the pace that I’m going.”
Still, Rodriguez was happy to see his friend get his first ride in the home run cart, and he’s hopeful to get his first ride in it when he picks up his first career hit.
He also believes pitchers should get to ride in the cart when they toss a no-hitter or complete game.
— The Red Sox are pretty good in games when Rodriguez starts.
According to Red Sox Notes, the Red Sox are 48-12 when Rodriguez is on the bump since 2018.
— Bobby Dalbec picked up his first career triple to drive in Boston’s fourth run.
— The Red Sox moved to 12-6 and have won 12 of their last 15 games.
— Matt Barnes picked up his third save of the season as he continues to look like a legitimate closer iwth nasty stuff.