Rodriguez sharp, but Red Sox lose to Orioles 2-0
BALTIMORE (AP) — The baseball season is winding down a little bit faster for Eduardo Rodriguez than the rest of the Boston Red Sox.
Rodriguez allowed one run against the Baltimore Orioles before being pulled in the sixth inning of Boston’s 2-0 loss Monday night.
Rodriguez (9-6) is nearing the end of the line in a solid rookie season in which he’s made 19 starts and pitched 109 2-3 innings. The lefty wasn’t scheduled to go more than six innings in this one, and afterward interim manager Torey Lovullo said Rodriguez would be used only one or two more times the rest of the way.
“We have a couple of things mapped out,” Lovullo said.
Rodriguez (9-6) gave up five hits and struck out nine in 5 1-3 innings. The 22-year-old had won three straight starts and was vying to become only the second Red Sox left-hander since 1950 to reach 10 wins in his rookie season.
“I knew I wasn’t going to be long in the game,” Rodriguez said. “I tried to keep the team in a winning position.”
Rodriguez did just that, leaving with Boston down 1-0.
“His pitch count climbed a little bit,” Lovullo said, “but he did a good job and kept us in the game.”
It might be a while before Rodriguez gets a chance to do it again.
“I will do just what they say,” he said. “If they want to give me seven days, five days, six days. I’ll take it. I know they are trying to do the best to save my shoulder.”
Boston leadoff hitter Mookie Betts went 0 for 3 with a walk, ending his 18-game hitting streak.
Kevin Gausman pitched six innings of two-hit ball to earn his first victory in six weeks, Adam Jones had two RBIs and Caleb Joseph had three hits to help the Orioles move two games ahead of the last-place Red Sox in the AL East. Baltimore trails four teams in the hunt for the second AL wild-card spot.
Gausman (3-6) struck out seven, walked four and allowed only one runner past second base. The right-hander was 0-4 in his previous seven starts since Aug. 1.
Brad Brach worked the seventh inning, Darren O’Day and Brian Matusz shared the eighth and Zach Britton got three straight outs to complete the three-hitter and earn his 33rd save.
Baltimore was 62-57 before losing 12 of 13. Now the Orioles are trying frantically to make up the difference.
“We’ve still got games on the schedule and we still have fans showing up. We still have pride,” Jones said. “We’re still playing for something. Until we’re out of it, until that Game 162, and they say, ‘You guys got to go home,’ we’re going to play hard.”
The Orioles got a first-inning run when Nolan Reimold singled, Manny Machado walked and second baseman Josh Rutledge mishandled an RBI grounder by Jones.
Gausman faced his only jam in the fourth, when two singles and a walk loaded the bases with one out. After Rusney Castillo lined out to second, Blake Swihart hit a fly to center.
Baltimore made it 2-0 in the seventh. Chris Davis singled off Tommy Layne with two outs, and Jones greeted Jean Machi with a run-scoring double.
Red Sox: Holt was held out of the starting lineup for a third straight day with back spasms. ... LF Hanley Ramirez (shoulder) is “not quite ready to come back” from the DL, Lovullo said.
Orioles: RHP Miguel Gonzalez (shoulder, elbow) threw off flat ground Monday and “got aggressive toward the end,” Showalter said. The Orioles hope to get him back in the rotation in the next two weeks.
Red Sox: Joe Kelly (10-6, 4.70 ERA) seeks to win his ninth straight start Tuesday night in the second game of the series.
Orioles: Ubaldo Jimenez (11-9, 4.22 ERA) has won his last two starts. But he’s 2-3 with an 8.06 ERA lifetime against Boston.