Eduardo Rodriguez was dominant Tuesday night against the Indians. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Closing Time: Eduardo Rodriguez dominant on night Red Sox hire Dave Dombrowski

DJ Bean
August 18, 2015 - 6:08 pm
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After getting crushed in his last outing, Eduardo Rodriguez spent his time between eight strong innings Tuesday watching his teammates rough up Cleveland'€™s various pitchers. Rodriguez, who allowed eight earned runs on nine hits last week against the Marlins, was dominant on Tuesday in a 9-1 win over the Indians. The rookie left-hander gave up six hits and struck out five batters, walking none over 114 pitches. His eight innings pitched were a career high. "I think he was pounding the strike zone with an aggressive fastball, getting ahead of hitters," interim manager Torey Lovullo said after the game. "There's no secret to having success on a given night from a pitching standpoint. It's getting ahead of the batter and staying in the strike zone. He got in a great run for several innings. He was comfortable, free and easy. His worst inning he threw 19 pitches prior to the eighth inning. We wanted to send him back out there and get the last inning he really deserved. A great effort by him tonight." (Rodriguez' performance proved to be overshadowed by the news of Boston's hiring of Dave Dombrowski as president of baseball operations. For more on that and Ben Cherington's decision to step down as Red Sox general manager, click here.) Cleveland'€™s lone run off Rodriguez came on solo homer from Michael Brantley in the top of the seventh inning. That was followed by a single from Carlos Santana, though Rodriguez escaped further damage by inducing a Ryan Raburn double play and an inning-ending groundout from Abraham Almonte. While the strong performance proved to be a bounce-back effort, it also continued a nice run of success for Rodriguez when pitching at home. Tuesday'€™s game made it five straight starts at Fenway in which Rodriguez has allowed three earned runs or fewer (3-0). Cleveland starter Trevor Bauer didn'€™t fare as well. Starting with a David Ortiz RBI in the double first inning, the Sox lit him up throughout his 1 2/3 innings of work. Bauer was chased after allowing five earned runs on six hits, but the Sox continued to get to Cleveland pitching in tagging Kyle Crockett and Ryan Webb for a run apiece in the third and fifth inning, respectively. The Sox answered Brantley'€™s homer with a two-run bottom of the seventh. The Sox finished with 16 hits, the most since their 26-hit outburst Saturday. They have now scored eight or more runs in four of their last five games. Mookie Betts led the charge for the Sox thanks to a three-run double off Bauer in the second inning. Betts would then score on a single from Brock Holt to expand Boston'€™s early lead. The 22-year-old outfielder now has hits in five straight games. Among those also turning in strong performances at the plate were Travis Shaw (4-for-4) and Brock Holt, the latter of whom'€™s first-inning triple went for naught when he was thrown out at home on a fielder'€™s choice. The first of two doubles from Ortiz looked like it might have been a homer, but a review confirmed that Ortiz'€™ first-inning line drive did not hit on top of the right-field wall. While the hit didn'€™t move Ortiz any closer to 500 home runs, it did put him on sole possession of 22nd place on the all-time extra-base hits list. With his 1079th, he passed Cal Ripken, Jr. Ortiz added to that total with a fifth-inning double. With 1080 career extra-base hits, he is closing in on the likes of Jim Thome (1089) and Dave Winfield (1093).