Rodriguez tips outcome in his favor in Toronto
Lefty worked between starts to avoid signaling pitches
TORONTO -- Eduardo Rodriguez had a lot of work to do between his last start and his outing against the Blue Jays on Tuesday night.
The Red Sox left-hander was on the wrong end of an ugly loss against the Orioles last week, lasting only 3 2/3 innings for his shortest outing of the season. To make matters worse, he was tipping his pitches to the point where almost everyone, including his teammates and coaches, noticed it.
His fellow starters let him know that night he was giving away his stuff based on how he held his head, and he spent the next four days working to correct it. His work appeared to pay off as Rodriguez shut down the lefty-mashing Blue Jays over six innings while allowing one earned run in a 4-3 victory at Rogers Centre.
"Working on it all those four days, on not tipping pitches to the hitters, working on it in my bullpen every time I throw the ball, that's why I did it better today," he said.
Rodriguez's four-hit outing put the Red Sox in a position to extend their winning streak to three games, while improving his own road record to 3-0 with a 0.69 ERA on the season.
He's limited the opposition to no more than one run in five of his seven starts in 2015 -- the only two games he didn't do so came his last time out against the Orioles and against the Blue Jays, who knocked him around for nine eared runs over 4 2/3 innings on June 14.
Rodriguez's ability to bounce back and keep the Toronto off balance most of the night was even more impressive considering the Blue Jays' 2015 success against left-handers. Entering play Tuesday, they owned Major League bests in batting average (.311) and OPS (.872) when facing southpaws.
The 22-year-old showed some of his best stuff in the sixth inning after he allowed a leadoff double to Devon Travis
Travis' two-bagger turned over the Blue Jays' lineup, sending to the plate a fierce top of the order. But Rodriguez appeared unfazed as he sandwiched a Josh Donaldson strikeout between groundouts to Jose Reyes and Jose Bautista to end the inning with a three-run lead intact.
"He made some quality pitches with men on base tonight," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "He had very good stuff. The second time through the order, down the bottom of the order, is when he started to use his third pitch a little bit more."