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
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw entered Wednesday night’s start against the Marlins without having issued a walk in his previous three starts. In fact, his last walk came on April 3 when he issued a free pass to Paul Goldschmidt with the bases empty and two outs in the bottom of the first inning. All told, Kershaw was on a streak of 26 walk-less innings before he took the mound at home to take on the Marlins.
Kershaw started off Wednesday in character, striking out the side in the first inning. He issued a walk in a tough second inning, but escaped without allowing a run. Kershaw walked two more in the third and again danced out of danger. In the fourth, Kershaw walked Lewis Brinson to load the bases with no outs and — you guessed it — didn’t end up allowing a run. His errant control finally came back to bite him in the fifth when Kershaw issued back-to-back two-out walks, then served up a three-run home run to Miguel Rojas down the left field line. His night was done when he completed the inning. Five innings, three runs, five hits, six walks, seven strikeouts, 112 pitches.
The six walks Kershaw issued over five innings marked his first six-walk outing since April 7, 2010 when he issued six free passes to the Pirates in 4 2/3 innings. The only other time he walked as many was on August 3, 2009 against the Brewers in a four-plus inning outing. Kershaw hasn’t even walked five batters in an outing recently — the last time was September 23, 2012 against the Reds.