Rodriguez baffles Rangers in sparkling MLB debut
ARLINGTON -- Red Sox rookie left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez made a terrific Major League debut, throwing 7 2/3 scoreless innings in a 5-1 victory over the Rangers on Thursday night at Globe Life Park.
Rodriguez beat Rangers starter Nick Martinez, who suffered his first loss of the season. Martinez, who entered the game third in the league with a 1.96 ERA, allowed two runs in seven innings and is now 4-1 with a 2.03 ERA in 10 starts.
Rodriguez, called up after eight starts with Triple-A Pawtucket, allowed just three hits, walked two and struck out seven. He threw just 105 pitches, while Martinez needed a career-high 112 to get through seven innings.
"That was a pretty good arm," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "Three quality pitches. It doesn't help we haven't seen that kid before, but that's a pretty quality arm. He held us in check."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Rodriguez dazzles in debut: Rodriguez proved why he was considered one of Boston's top pitching prospects, and he also looked like more than just a prospect in his Major League debut. Rodriguez started the day by sending the Rangers down in order in the first inning, capped by a strikeout of Prince Fielder. He finished the game with 7 2/3 innings of shutout baseball and seven strikeouts, allowing only three hits. More >
"For me, this is really surprising," Rodriguez said. "My first time throwing in the big leagues and throwing a game like that."
Hamilton has positive response: Josh Hamilton received an overwhelmingly positive response in his first at-bat at home since returning to the Rangers. Hamilton, batting with one out and nobody on in the second inning, responded with a double down the right-field line against Rodriguez. But the Rangers couldn't get him home as Mitch Moreland struck out and Elvis Andrus flied out. The Rangers didn't score until the ninth, when Hamilton drove in his first run of the season with a one-out single to right that brought home Adrian Beltre. Hamilton finished 2-for-4. More >
"That's what we were hoping for -- the fans to love him the way they used to," Andrus said. "It's just a matter of him feeling good. Today, he was pretty good."
Ramirez finds the power: Hanley Ramirez hit his 11th home run of the season -- but only his first in May -- with his sixth-inning blast off Martinez. Ramirez hit an 0-1 pitch out to left-center to give the Red Sox a 2-0 lead and end his power drought. More >
"I think he's kind of detected some things through video work with his stride direction," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "He was much more free, and the bat speed was improved. Good to see him square up a couple of balls, for sure."
Leadoff man troubles Martinez: The Rangers righty allowed leadoff hitters to reach in four of the first six innings. It finally caught up to him in the fifth in a scoreless game. Blake Swihart led off with a single and scored after a pair of one-out singles by Dustin Pedroia and Mookie Betts. More >
"I know Eddie, I have pitched against him in low A and high A. He's a pretty good pitcher. He did a good job tonight."
-- Martinez, on Rodriguez
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Rangers have lost 11 of their last 15 games at home and are 6-14 in Arlington this season. That's the second-worst home record after 20 games in club history. They were 5-15 after 20 games in 1985.
The Rangers lost their eighth straight challenge. Betts led off the ninth with a triple to left field. The Rangers challenged the call at third base, believing Hamilton may have caught Betts with his throw. The call stood after the review.
Red Sox: Boston knuckleballer Steven Wright faces the Rangers for the first time and aims for his second career win as a starter when he takes the hill Friday at 8:05 p.m. ET. Wright is 2-1 with a 3.68 ERA and went a career-high 6 1/3 innings in his last outing.
Rangers: Yovani Gallardo pitches for the Rangers against the Red Sox at 7:05 p.m. CT on Friday night in Arlington. This will be his second time in three starts facing the Red Sox. He allowed four runs in five innings in a 4-3 loss on May 19.
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