BOSTON (CBS) — Eduardo Rodriguez had been on a roll in his previous seven starts, going 4-0 with a 2.25 ERA. But his hot streak came to a screeching halt on Thursday night in Baltimore, as the Orioles tagged Rodriguez for seven runs, including four home runs.
E-Rod wasn’t so bad for the first five innings, but allowed three runs on homers to Mark Trumbo and Chris Davis. It was in the sixth inning when he unraveled, retiring just one batter and allowing two more home runs. A three-run shot by the Orioles’ Jonathan Schoop chased him from the game.
Rodriguez’s sudden struggles prompted questions of whether he’d been injured or otherwise affected by a spill he took in the bullpen prior to the game, when he slipped and fell during a warmup pitch. Rodriguez has had knee issues as recently as last season, which raised questions of whether he’d re-injured himself in the fall.
But the tumble turned out to be more of a bad omen than a cause of his season-worst outing, as E-Rod denied that the fall caused any further problems when he spoke to reporters after the game.
“I just threw a pitch and my foot got in a bad position and I went down,” said Rodriguez (via MLB.com). “But nothing crazy. I just landed a bit different, and that’s it.”
Manager John Farrell said after the game that the Red Sox checked on Rodriguez before he started the game and between every inning, and that the lefty did not complain of anything. Rodriguez chalked up his struggles to simply missing with his location, which the Orioles’ powerful lineup can make you pay for in a hurry.
“Those guys when you miss, that’s what happens,” Rodriguez said. “They were making good contact and hitting homers. I just missed my pitches.”
Rodriguez has a history of rebounding nicely from outings like Thursday night. In five career starts after allowing more than five runs in the previous start, Rodriguez is 5-0 with a 1.31 ERA. It’s up to him to bounce back next time out against the Yankees in New York.