On Saturday, the Pirates brought back utilityman Sean Rodriguez in a trade with the Braves. Rodriguez spent the 2015-16 seasons with the Pirates, having the best year of his career in ’16 as he finished with a .270/.349/.510 triple-slash line across 342 plate appearances.
Rodriguez didn’t start in Sunday’s game against the Padres, but he did enter the game as a second baseman in the top of the eighth inning as part of a double-switch. He grounded out in his first at-bat, ending the bottom of the ninth inning with the game tied 4-4. Rodriguez came back to the plate to lead off the bottom of the 12th against reliever Buddy Baumann. With a 1-1 count, Rodriguez pulled a 90 MPH fastball into the left field seats for a walk-off solo home run.
It’s been a tough year for Rodriguez. He, his wife, and two of his children were involved in an SUV accident in late January. Rodriguez suffered a torn rotator cuff in his shoulder, which was expected to keep him out all season, but he returned on July 17.