Another fantastic outing from Eduardo Rodriguez helped the Red Sox produce one of their more convincing wins in recent weeks in the first game of their Wednesday doubleheader, 6-3 over the Twins.
Hoping to throw Rodriguez off in his second major league outing, the Twins stacked the lineup with right-handed hitters. It was apparent from the beginning that Rodriguez wasn't fazed. A one-out walk in the first was the lone baserunner he allowed the first time through the lineup, with five of the Twins' nine righties (or switch hitters) striking out.
The first time through for Phil Hughes wasn't quite as successful. Dustin Pedroia maintained his success against Minnesota's starter with a leadoff single, then scored when David Ortiz planted a double off the base of the wall in dead-away center to score Pedroia from first and give the Red Sox the 1-0 lead.
The second time through didn't start quite as well for Eduardo Rodriguez. A flat fastball over the heart of the plate to Brian Dozier resulted in a missile up the left field line and into the Monster seats for a solo shot, ending Rodriguez' scoreless streak at 10 innings and tying the game. But the young lefty certainly didn't let it bother him. Rodriguez retired the next seven batters he faced before a leadoff infield single and walk left him suddenly facing trouble in the sixth. Shane Robinson made things tense by fouling off an unreasonable number of pitches before finally flying out to left on the twelfth one he saw. But after that, a quick couple of ground balls saw Rodriguez out of the jam and into the seventh.
By that point, he was working with a much larger lead than most Red Sox starters see these days. Starting in the third, with hits from Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz, and Hanley Ramirez, Boston would score in three straight innings, culminating in a two-run single from Xander Bogaerts in the fifth that gave them a 5-1 lead. A Mike Napoli solo shot would yet another insurance run in the seventh.
The score would end up getting a little closer in the ninth when, tasked with two innings of work, Alexi Ogando surrendered a two-run shot with two down in the ninth. But that still left the Red Sox up by three, with just one last ground ball left to secure the win in game one.