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E-Rod's performance just what Red Sox need

Young lefty throws two perfect frames after news of Price injury
MLB.com @IanMBrowne

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- A lights-out performance by Eduardo Rodriguez in Thursday's Grapefruit League debut was just what the Red Sox needed.

It had been an unsettling morning, with news that David Price has left forearm soreness and will be out indefinitely pending the results of a second opinion.

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FORT MYERS, Fla. -- A lights-out performance by Eduardo Rodriguez in Thursday's Grapefruit League debut was just what the Red Sox needed.

It had been an unsettling morning, with news that David Price has left forearm soreness and will be out indefinitely pending the results of a second opinion.

View Full Game Coverage

Rodriguez fired two perfect innings against the Rays, striking out two in Boston's 19-2 victory. His importance will increase if Price is out for an extended period of time.

"It was encouraging, particularly in light of some of the early-morning news today," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "In his first outing in Spring Training, he was in command. He was powerful in the first. I liked the way he used some secondary pitches in his second inning. He was able to get a quality two innings of work."

Before the injury to Price, Rodriguez was in a three-man battle with Steven Wright and Drew Pomeranz for the final two spots in the rotation. That could still be the case if Price makes a quick recovery.

For Rodriguez, the beauty of this Spring Training is being healthy from the start. He suffered a subluxation of his right knee early in camp last year and didn't fully recover until the second half of the season.

The left-hander turns 24 on April 7, and the Red Sox still feel he can develop into an upper-echelon pitcher. Rodriguez was 10-6 with a 3.85 ERA in his rookie season of 2015 before slipping to 3-7 with a 4.71 ERA last year.

Thursday was the first step toward a rebound.

"It was really good," said Rodriguez. "My mechanics, my shoulder, my knee, everything was normal. We'll see what happens. I threw pitches where I wanted. It was good."

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Boston Red Sox, Eduardo Rodriguez