BOSTON -- Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez exited Saturday' game against the Blue Jays after spraining his right ankle in a collision with Lourdes Gurriel Jr. at first base.
"It looks bad," Red Sox manager Alex Cora said after Boston won, 6-2, on a Xander Bogaerts grand slam in the 10th inning. "But he's moving around, which is encouraging. Obviously, we've got to go through tests and all that and then see what happens."
Rodriguez and Gurriel were racing to the bag when the two crashed into each other. It appeared that Rodriguez tripped over a sliding Gurriel, and both players went down on the field.
Both received medical attention, and while Gurriel remained on first, Rodriguez slowly walked back to the mound with Red Sox staff before leaving the game.
"He's a big guy," Bogaerts said. "And covering first base is not the best thing for him. But he went down, and I went over right away, because he's one of my close buddies on the team. And to see him go down and get out of the game, it was a little bit worrying."
Rodriguez left with a scoreless outing through 5 1/3 innings, allowing four hits with five strikeouts and no walks. Richard Hembree replaced him on the mound with the Red Sox leading, 1-0.
Before the injury, it looked like Rodriguez could work deeper into the game -- he had only thrown 67 pitches. And he extended his scoreless streak to 19 innings -- the longest active streak in the Majors.
Now the Red Sox will go into the All-Star break facing the prospect of yet another injury to a pitcher.
"It's funny, because today was probably his best one," Cora said. "Throwing strikes, great tempo, pitching to good contact."
The Red Sox bullpen is already stretched thin, with Steven Wright and Thomas Pomeranz recovering from injuries while Joe Kelly has battled consistency on the mound. After Hembree held the Blue Jays scoreless through the sixth inning, Kelly entered in the seventh and gave up two runs and the lead.
The 10-inning game Saturday and another blow to their depth could hurt the Red Sox in their series finale with the Blue Jays on Sunday, once the dust settles from Bogaerts' walk-off grand slam.
While Rodriguez's injury leaves little room for optimism, one thing is certain -- the All-Star break could not come at a better time for the Red Sox's bullpen. But that doesn't take away the sting of losing a front-line starter.
"I don't want to get ahead of myself," Cora said. "But I do feel that [Rodriguez] was making strides, he was throwing more offspeed pitches the last two. And hopefully, he'll be OK."