It was the closest thing to a perfect scenario for the Red Sox: Eduardo Rodriguez on the mound against the lowly Baltimore Orioles.
Home runs by Rafael Devers and Andrew Benintendi helped Rodriguez win his fifth straight start Brendan Leipsic Jersey Kids , and Boston extended Baltimore’s losing streak to six games with a 6-4 victory Tuesday night.
Rodriguez (8-1) gave up two runs and eight hits over 5 2/3 innings to increase a career-best run of success that began on May 20 against the Orioles. Rodriguez is 3-0 this season against Baltimore, the team that gave the left-hander his first professional contract in 2010 and traded him to Boston in 2014.
”Eduardo was good. The next step for him is to go deeper into the game and keep that pitch count down,” manager Alex Cora said.
It took Rodriguez 109 pitches to get 17 outs, but he left with a 6-2 lead.
”I’m throwing the ball good and I want to keep on doing it,” Rodriguez said. ”The more wins you get, the closer you get to the playoffs.”
No team in the big leagues has more wins than Boston (46). The Red Sox are 12-1 in Rodriguez’s starts, including 5-0 on the road, and 8-1 overall against Baltimore.
Devers hit a two-run drive in the second inning and Benintendi connected in the third for a 3-1 lead. A bases-loaded walk and a run-scoring balk made it 5-2 in the fourth, and Boston coasted from there.
Joey Rickard homered for the Orioles, who own the worst record in the big leagues (19-47) and have endured six losing streaks of at least five games.
Before Mark Trumbo doubled in two runs in the ninth, Baltimore was 1 for 11 with runners in scoring position. And despite that hit, the Orioles are 3 for 48 in that situation during their current skid.
Rookie pitcher David Hess (2-3) stumbled in his sixth big league start, allowing five runs, five hits and a career-high four walks in 3 1/3 innings.
”At the end of the day, if I execute some pitches a little bit better I think the results are different,” Hess said. ”But that’s a good lineup. You’ve got to be at your best going out there and tonight I wasn’t.”
Baltimore reliever Zach Britton made his season debut Brock Boeser Jersey , six months after undergoing surgery for a ruptured right Achilles tendon. The lefty pitched a scoreless seventh inning.
”It almost felt like my debut, like an out-of-body experience,” Britton said. ”It was weird.”
TAKE A SEAT
Red Sox: OF Mookie Betts was held out of the starting lineup, one day after ending a 14-game stay on the disabled list with an abdominal strain. Cora said he didn’t want to push Betts so soon after his return, but intends to start him in Wednesday’s series finale.
Orioles: Struggling 1B Chris Davis (.150 batting average, 86 Ks) was benched and likely will also be held out of the starting lineup Wednesday, manager Buck Showalter said.
The Orioles agreed to terms with first-round pick Grayson Rodriguez, a right-hander from Central Heights High School in Texas. Selected 11th overall, Rodriguez was introduced to the crowd in the fourth inning.
Red Sox: Relief pitcher Carson Smith, who hurt his shoulder last month when he threw his glove in the dugout after giving up a home run to Oakland’s Khris Davis, will have surgery Wednesday and could be lost for the season, Cora said. … There is no timetable for the return of 2B Dustin Pedroia (knee), a four-time All-Star who was placed on the disabled list June 2. The team will wait until the inflammation subsides before taking the next step.
Orioles: RHP Andrew Cashner was placed on the DL with back spasms. He’s expected to miss only one start. … SS Manny Machado returned to the lineup after sitting out with an illness Monday.
Red Sox: Chris Sale (5-4, 2.83 ERA) tries to end a run of three straight losing starts on Wednesday.
Orioles: Baltimore takes another stab at becoming the final major league team to win 20 games in 2018. Yefry Ramirez will be recalled from Triple-A Norfolk to replace Cashner as the starter.
Closer Kyle Barraclough has been exceptional for the Marlins in the last two months, so the novelty of him giving up a run — even in a Miami win — is major news.
“Claw will bounce back LeGarrette Blount Jersey , no worries about that,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said after he gave up the tying run in the ninth, ultimately earning the victory in a 2-1 win in a series opener against the Rays.
Barraclough had not allowed a run since May 8 — an amazing run of 21 games and 20 2/3 innings with just two hits allowed before Monday, when the Rays matched that with two hits and the tying run. His season ERA had dipped below 1.00 to 0.99 ERA before that run scored.
“To be able to scratch runs and get pitching, it’s nice to be able to get that win in the end,” Mattingly said of his Marlins (35-51), who have won three of four games.
The Marlins will try to continue that Tuesday with rookie right-hander Trevor Richards (2-5, 5.06 ERA) on the mound. Richards lasted only four innings in his last outing, giving up six hits and three runs to Arizona, but he has two wins in his last four starts, this after having zero wins in his first six starts of the season.
Richards has never faced the Rays, but his limited work in interleague play has been rough — eight hits and five runs in 4 1/3 innings against the Red Sox in April, then nine hits and six runs in 3 1/3 innings against Baltimore in June. His interleague record is 0-2 and his ERA is 12.91, with a staggering 17 hits in 7 2/3 innings.
The Rays answer with another rookie who hasn’t faced this team before — Ryne Stanek, spectacular as an “opener” with short outings to open games throughout the month of June, was supposed to start Tuesday but instead got the nod in the 10th inning Monday Christopher Tanev Jersey , surrendering a leadoff walk that quickly became the winning run off an infield single.
Ryan Yarbrough (7-4, 3.76 ERA) has pitched well coming in after the “opener,” but he’ll get the start now against the Marlins. Much like Richards, he’s struggled in interleague play, going 0-2 with a 6.60 ERA, allowing 19 hits in 15 innings. His last outing wasn’t bad at all, lasting 6 1/3 innings in relief, giving up seven hits but only one run in a 1-0 loss to Houston on Thursday. He’ll likely get a rare chance to bat as well with the game in a National League park — he’s just 0-for-2 at the plate in his young career.
One-run games have been a major part of the Rays’ season — they’ve played in 37, matching the most in the majors, and they’ve lost 21, the most of any team, but Rays manager Kevin Cash said he was optimistic even when his team was down 2-1 in the ninth on Monday. The Rays had won eight of nine coming in and will try to bounce back Tuesday.
“The way we’ve been playing, we’ve been getting the big hit,” Cash said. “I think it was going to work out the entire game.”