Looking to avoid the sweep against the lowly Athletics, Eduardo Rodriguez took the mound on Sunday afternoon. With the bullpen needing some rest after going five innings Saturday, the Red Sox needed Rodriguez to go pretty deep into the game, and that’s just what he did. Rodriguez went eight innings strong, only running into trouble in the second and fourth innings, where he gave up all three of his runs. The Venezuelan native also fanned an impressive eight batters. With six straight quality starts, Rodriguez has really solidified himself as a legitimate middle of the rotation starter. What I find interesting is how Rodriguez could have started the season in Pawtucket, if David Price never got hurt. But, since Price did get hurt during spring training, Rodriguez has capitalized on a great opportunity. With Rodriguez going deep into this game, the only other pitcher who saw in-game action was Matt Barnes, who struck out one while getting the Athletics in order, in the ninth, to end the game.
Offensively, the Red Sox did just about everything right. With the lack of power that is present in this lineup, it makes sense that they have become more aggressive on the bases. On Sunday, the Red Sox kicked things off early, scoring twice in the first, highlighted by Mookie Betts going from first to home on a Dustin Pedroia single. The scoring would halt until the fifth, when Christian Vazquez and Mookie Betts would both score in the inning. Two more runs would be tacked on in the sixth, with Mitch Moreland hitting his third home run in as many days, also driving in Hanley Ramirez. The eighth was highlighted by Jackie Bradley Jr.’s hustle double, reaching second on what looked like a routine single, and also scoring later in the inning. To wrap things up, the Red Sox bats poured it on in the ninth. Five runners crossed the plate, highlighted by Hanley Ramirez’s line drive, 2 RBI double, which scored Xander Bogaerts and Andrew Benintendi. Every batter in the lineup, including Deven Marrero surprisingly, recorded at least one hit. It would be nice to see the Red Sox carry any momentum from this win, but with their inconsistency throughout the season, it’s tough to say if that could happen.
22 down, ? to go.