Eduardo Rodriguez dazzles in major league debut

23 Comments

When the Red Sox called up prospect left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez to make his major league debut tonight against the Rangers, the thought was that it would just be a spot-start in order to give the other members in the rotation an extra day of rest. Well, it’s safe to say that there could be a change of plans.

Rodriguez was nothing short of excellent tonight, holding the Rangers scoreless over 7 2/3 innings as part of a 5-1 victory. The 22-year-old gave up just three hits and two walks while striking out seven batters. Sitting in the mid-90s with his fastball, he threw 68 out of 105 pitches for strikes and induced nine swinging strikes.

It looked like Rodriguez was done after seven innings, especially after the Red Sox scored three runs in a lengthy top of the eighth, but he came back out for the bottom of the eighth and struck out the first two batters he faced before walking Robinson Chirinos and giving up a single to Delino DeShields, Jr. That was the end of the night for Rodriguez, but fortunately for him, Tommy Layne was able to get the final out to keep the scoreless outing intact.

Acquired from the Orioles last July in the Andrew Miller deal, Rodriguez rattled off a 0.96 ERA over his final six starts with Double-A Portland last season and had a 2.98 ERA and 44/7 K/BB ratio in 48 1/3 innings over his first eight starts with Triple-A Pawtucket this season. You can’t fault Baltimore for going for it, but that has a chance to be a really good deal for Boston.

While no official decision has been made yet, Red Sox manager John Farrell told Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald after the game that he “would hope” Rodriguez remains in the rotation. Joe Kelly, the owner of a 6.24 ERA, figures to get the boot if he sticks around.

Pujols hits 701st career home run, connects for Cardinals

albert pujols
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images
5 Comments

ST. LOUIS — Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols hit his 701st home run, connecting Friday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Pujols launched a slider from former teammate Johan Oviedo over the Big Mac Land sign in left field at Busch Stadium. The solo drive in the fourth inning made it 1-all.

Pujols faced Oviedo for the first time and made the 24-year-old righty the 456th different pitcher he’s homered against.

The St. Louis star hadn’t homered in a week since hitting No. 699 and 700 at Dodger Stadium last Friday. Pujols had gone 10 at-bats without a home run after two starts and one pinch-hit appearance.

The Busch Stadium crowd gave the 42-year-old Pujols a long standing ovation before he came out of the Cardinals dugout to tip his cap for a curtain call.

Pujols hit his 22nd home run this season for the NL Central champion Cardinals.

Pujols is fourth on the career home run list behind Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714).