Eduardo Rodríguez punches out 8, improves to 4-0 on season as Red Sox split series with Mariners following 5-3 win

On a day where it looked like it would be difficult for baseball to be played in the Boston area due to rainy conditions, the Red Sox closed out their longest homestand of the season on Sunday with a 5-3 victory over the Mariners at Fenway Park.

Rodriguez fans eight over seven solid frames

Eduardo Rodriguez made his fourth start of the season for Boston in Sunday’s series finale and proved to be effective once again even without his best stuff.

Over seven steady innings of work, the left-hander yielded just three runs — all of which were earned — on six hits and and no walks to go along with a season-high eight strikeouts on the afternoon.

While he ultimately put together yet another strong outing, Rodriguez did not get off to the best starts Sunday by surrendering back-to-back doubles to Mitch Haniger and Ty France out of the gate in the top half of the first. That gave the Mariners an early 1-0 lead.

Rodriguez was able to settle into a groove from there, as he sat down 12 of the next 13 hitters he faced before running into some trouble in the fifth.

There, the bottom-third of the Mariners’ lineup got the best of the southpaw, with Sam Haggerty leading the inning off with a single before back-to-back run-scoring doubles off the bats of Tom Murphy and J.P. Crawford cut Boston’s deficit down to two runs at 5-3.

Again faced with some adversity, Rodriguez did not back down and instead ended his day by retiring the final nine Mariners he faced in order leading into the middle of the seventh.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 98 (71 strikes), the 28-year-old hurler threw 36 changeups, 34 four-seam fastballs, 12 cutters, eight sinkers, and eight sliders. He averaged just 91.1 mph with his heater, but still managed to induce seven swings-and-misses with it anyway.

Ultimately improving to 4-0 while raising his ERA on the year from 3.38 to 3.52, Rodriguez will look for win No. 5 in his next time out, which should come against the Rangers in Arlington on Saturday.

Ottavino gets some help from Gonzalez, Barnes notches save

In relief of Rodriguez, right-hander Adam Ottavino got the first call out of the Red Sox bullpen to work the eighth inning of what was a 5-3 game in favor of his side.

The veteran reliever issued a leadoff walk to Haniger to bring the tying run to the plate almost immediately, but then got some help from Marwin Gonzalez when he got Ty France to hit a grounder towards the left side of the infield.

Gonzalez, who started at shortstop on Sunday, fielded France’s softly-hit grounder on a hop with his glove and instead of transferring the ball to his throwing hand, flipped the ball to Christian Arroyo — who was covering second — to start an impactful 6-4-3 twin killing.

Ottavino then punched out Kyle Seager to retire the side, which paved the way for Matt Barnes to come on for the ninth.

After a rocky outing in his last time out on Friday, Barnes needed all of 16 pitches on Sunday to toss a 1-2-3 ninth inning, notch his fourth save of the season, and preserve a 5-3 victory for the Sox.

Walks lead to early scoring for Red Sox

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against left-hander Nick Margevicius for the Mariners, who came into Sunday averaging 2.3 walks per nine innings through his first four appearances (two starts) of the season.

That being said, Margevicius walked four of the first seven Red Sox he faced in this one and could only record one out before getting the hook because of it.

Enrique Hernandez led things off with a single, moved up to second on a Rafael Devers walk, moved up to third on a J.D. Martinez walk, and scored on a one-out RBI single off the bat of Christian Vazquez.

Hunter Renfroe plated Devers by drawing yet another free pass of the Mariners starter, and Gonzalez drove in Martinez by doing the very same.

Margevicius would then make way for reliever Drew Steckenrider, who plunked the very first hitter he faced — Arroyo — on the left wrist to bring in yet another Red Sox run.

In the second, walks came back to bite the Mariners once more, as Steckenrider put on Hernandez and Devers via ball four before Bogaerts drove in Hernandez on an RBI double to left field.

Bogaerts’ eighth double of the year put Boston up 5-1, which would prove to be enough in an eventual 5-3 win.

Some notes from this victory:

From Red Sox Notes:

From The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier:

From Red Sox Stats:

The Red Sox wrap up their longest homestand of the season with a 5-5 record, which takes them to 13-9 on the year overall.

After an off day on Monday, the Sox will embark on a two-city, six-game road trip that starts with a two-game interleague tilt against the Mets in Flushing on Tuesday night.

Right-hander Garrett Richards is slated to get the start for Boston in Tuesday’s series opener at Citi Field. He will be opposed by left-hander Drew Peterson for New York.

First pitch Tuesday is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN and ESPN.

(Picture of Eduardo Rodriguez: Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)

Author: Brendan Campbell

Blogging about the Boston Red Sox since April '17. Also support Tottenham Hotspur.

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