Detroit Tigers designated hitter stands just two home runs away from No. 500 in his career, but Boston Red Sox pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez wasn’t going to make it easy on him Wednesday.
No matter how close their relationship is.
“I feel like he is like an older brother to me,” Rodriguez said after going five innings in Boston’s 4-1 win Wednesday against the Tigers. “We’ve been training together for a long time, talking all the time. Sometimes I call him and ask him about what he thinks as a hitter and stuff like that. I just feel like he is like a big brother to me.”
Rodriguez acknowledged how the two talked before the three-game series started Tuesday — a game Cabrera homered in — and even shared his message for the 11-time All-Star knowing the left-hander would take the mound against him.
“‘You’re my brother after those white lines but you’re not my brother anymore.’ That’s how it is,” Rodriguez recalled. “I just told him ‘You just got to earn it, that’s the only way you’re going to hit a homer off me.”
Rodriguez struck out Cabrera in the first inning and got him to ground out to the pitcher’s mound in the third. The Red Sox starter shared he kept the ball in hopes to get Cabrera to sign it down the road. He finished allowing just two hits in five innings with a season-high 10 strikeouts.
Rodriguez hopes to see Cabrera hit No. 500 soon, too — just not too soon.
“I wish I could stay it and see it, but I don’t want him to hit it off my teammate, you know what I mean?” Rodriguez said. “That’s something I want to see. I just want him to get his 500th and keep working and make it to the Hall of Fame.”
Cabrera, after all, certainly is on his way there.