Wandy Rodriguez made his debut for the Pirates on Saturday evening in Houston, against his light-hitting former team. The results were decent enough.
Rodriguez surrendered three earned runs on six hits, fanning five Astros batters but issuing five walks. Only 57 of his 103 pitches were strikes.
We’ll chalk some of the control issues up to jitters.
Rodriguez left the game at a 3-3 score. Pittsburgh made it 4-3 in the eighth and would hold that lead.
The Pirates are now 58-42, two games back of the Reds in the National League Central standings. Wandy will face Cincinnati next time out.
Your Saturday box scores and recaps:
Cardinals 2, Cubs 3
Tigers 1, Blue Jays 5
Red Sox 8, Yankees 6
Dodgers 10, Giants 0
Royals 3, Mariners 4
Athletics 6, Orioles 1
Pirates 4, Astros 3
Nationals 4, Brewers 1
Indians 5, Twins 12
Phillies 1, Braves 2
Padres 2, Marlins 4
White Sox 5, Rangers 2
Reds 9, Rockies 7
Mets 3, Diamondbacks 6
Rays 3, Angels 0
No surprise here: Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for the Red Sox, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports. The Red Sox open the season on March 29 in Tampa Bay against the Rays. Sale will oppose Chris Archer.
Sale, 28, is the fifth different Opening Day starter the Red Sox have had in as many years, preceded by Rick Porcello, David Price, Clay Buchholz, and Jon Lester. Sale started on Opening Day for the White Sox in 2013, ’14, and ’16.
Sale finished second in AL Cy Young Award balloting last year and finished ninth for AL MVP. He went 17-8 with a 2.90 ERA and a 308/43 K/BB ratio in 214 1/3 innings. Sale and Clayton Kershaw (2015) are the only pitchers to strike out 300 or more batters in a season dating back to 2003.