BOSTON (CBS) — Eduardo Rodriguez is inching closer to a return to the Red Sox rotation.

The Boston lefty tossed four shutout innings in a rehab start for the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs on Monday night, allowing just two hits while striking out six New Hampshire Fisher Cats. Rodriguez got his last five outs by way of the K, ending his evening by striking out the side in the top of the fourth. He threw 47 of his 76 pitches for strikes in Portland’s 12-6 win.

In his two rehab outings for the Sea Dogs, Rodriguez has struck out 14 batters while allowing just three hits and issuing four walks. If the Red Sox are pleased with Rodriguez’s work — and his ankle holds up — there’s a chance he could be back on the rubber for Boston this weekend during their four-game series against the White Sox in Chicago.

Rodriguez has been on the shelf since he sprained his ankle covering first base back on July 14. He has been one of Boston’s best pitchers when healthy, touting an 11-3 record and 3.44 ERA over 19 starts this season. The 25-year-old has a 17-inning scoreless streak waiting for him when he returns to the majors.

Getting Rodriguez back will be big for the Boston rotation, which is without ace Chris Sale at the moment. Sale is on the disabled list for the second time this month with shoulder inflammation.

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