Through five innings, Boston left-hander Eduardo Rodríguez was dealing. He decorated his first postseason start with six strikeouts and limited the Dodgers to just three bases as he traded scoreless inning after scoreless inning with opposing lefty Rich Hill. And then the sixth inning happened, and the wheels started to fall off.
After inadvertently plunking David Freese and issuing a three-pitch strikeout to knock out Max Muncy, Rodríguez found himself in hot water when Justin Turner roped a line drive down the third base line. The ball skirted just under Eduardo Núñez’s glove and into the left field corner, allowing Turner to reach second base and setting up Manny Machado for a go-ahead run. Rodríguez intentionally walked the slugger, but chaos erupted as Cody Bellinger hit into a force out. Christian Vázquez got the out at home, but his throw to first base ricocheted off of Bellinger’s back and the Dodgers eked out their first run of the night on the catcher’s errant throw.
The kicker: Down 1-0 with two outs and runners at the corners, the right-handed Yasiel Puig stepped up to the plate against Rodríguez and lofted a mammoth 439-footer out to left-center field to give the Dodgers a 4-0 lead.
As expected, it was the last at-bat of the night for Rodríguez, who slammed his glove to the ground in frustration as Puig rounded the bases. The Dodgers currently lead 4-0 in the seventh.
Rays outfielder Austin Meadows has been placed on the 10-day injured list with a right thumb sprain, per a team announcement Sunday. No concrete timetable has been given for his return to the lineup just yet, but he’s scheduled to meet with a hand specialist on Sunday as the Rays try to determine the extent of his injury.
Meadows, 23, suffered the sprain in the seventh inning of Saturday’s 6-5 loss to the Red Sox. He lined a two-run triple into the right-center field gap — one of a franchise-record four triples that the Rays recorded in the game — but slid awkwardly into third base and jammed his right thumb in the process. He didn’t appear to be in obvious pain following the hit, however, nor was he removed from the game at the time.
Prior to the setback, Meadows carried a hefty .351/.422/.676 batting line with six homers, 19 RBI, and a 1.097 OPS through his first 83 plate appearances of 2019. He was replaced by Guillermo Heredia in right field for Sunday’s series finale and will likely lose a few starts to Avisaíl García as well.
In a series of corresponding moves, right-handed reliever Jake Faria was optioned to Triple-A Durham, infielder/outfielder Andrew Velazquez and righty reliever Emilio Pagán were recalled from Triple-A, and reliever Hunter Wood was placed on the paternity list. Second baseman Joey Wendle was also reinstated from the 10-day injured list after rehabbing a left hamstring strain and is scheduled take over the keystone during the Rays’ matinee against the Red Sox on Sunday.