clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Red Sox 0, Orioles 1: Terrible offense lets Eduardo Rodriguez down

Eduardo Rodriguez wasn't at his best, but he was effective all the same, leaving yet another loss on the shoulders of an offense that can't even overcome a one-run deficit.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Red Sox couldn't push their winning streak to a season-high four games Tuesday night thanks to yet another anemic performance by the offense.

There's no question that this was the worst start Red Sox fans have seen out of Eduardo Rodriguez this year. His secondary offerings were, if not missing in action, then at least missing in location. He found himself in trouble often as not, and faced a high pitch count early as he struggled to put batters away.

He also finished his night with seven strikeouts in six scoreless innings of work. If Rodriguez has been dominant at his best in his first three starts, he was supremely effective at his worst tonight. And while it's tempting to say Rodriguez pulled a Houdini act tonight, that doesn't really give full credit to his outing.

He gave up three walks and hit a batter, yes. He also allowed just three hits, largely keeping the ball on the ground or out of play. When he did surrender a free pass, he tightened up and turned in some of his biggest at bats--strikeouts of Matt Wieters and J.J. Hardy in the first and second, and getting Steve Pearce to ground into a double play in the fourth. His greatest escape came in the fifth after putting the first two men on, and while Xander Bogaerts helped some by making a nice play to get the lead runner at third on a ground ball to short, Rodriguez completely took over from there with strikeouts of Delmon Young and Adam Jones.

So that's the good news. The bad news is that the Red Sox scored not a single run. Miguel Gonzalez was escaping the same situations Rodriguez did, though he did so without the benefit of Rodriguez' strikeouts. Napoli, Sandoval, and Betts were unable to do anything with singles from Ortiz and Bogaerts in the second. In the third, they wasted another pair of baserunners, both coming with two outs this time. Their best chance to score against Miguel Gonzalez came in the fifth, when Blake Swihart led off with a double down the left field line, then moved to third on a Dustin Pedroia ground ball. But Gonzalez would come out of the game with an injury, and Brock Holt went from 2-0 to 2-3, leaving Rusney Castillo's fly ball an inning-ender instead of a sacrifice fly.

With the Sox failing to score in the fifth, the Orioles would take the first and only lead of the day off of Matt Barnes in the seventh. Barnes managed to curtail what could have been a disaster inning after Steve Pearce and J.J. Hardy started it off with a double and a single. But a wild pitch was all it took to score the run, and the run was all it took to win the game. The Sox had one more chance to score in the eighth, putting the first two batters on, but Matt Wieters made a good play on a Rusney Castillo bunt to get the lead runner at third, David Ortiz looked as helpless as ever against the lefty Zach Britton, and Mike Napoli did no better. The ninth went little better, and Eduardo Rodriguez was given his rite of passage into this team's world: a scoreless performance resulting in a Red Sox loss.