Eduardo Rodriguez

Friday’s Red Sox-Rays matchups: Eduardo Rodriguez vs. Erasmo Ramirez

July 31, 2015 - 5:43 am

Avoiding their third sweep in four series Thursday night, the Red Sox took the final game of their four-game set with the White Sox by a score of 8-2. With the Rays next on the docket, Eduardo Rodriguez will pitch for Boston against Erasmo Rodriguez on Friday evening. Rodriguez has provided the Sox with a solid option in the rotation, though he's fallen victim to the occasional bad start. In 11 starts so far this season, the lefty has recorded seven outings in which he's allowed one or zero earned runs. He also has had three starts lasting fewer than five innings with six or more earned runs. Two of those three came at Fenway Park, but the most recent one was on the road vs. the Angels on July 20, a 1 2/3-inning effort with seven earned runs on six hits. Most recently, Rodriguez put up seven innings on Sunday, giving up just one earned run, a home run, on three hits with one walk and six strikeouts. After that win, the rookie's season ERA is 4.26 while his record is 6-3. "I think [against the Angels], I tried to go too quickly to home plate and made my fastballs in the strike zone," Rodriguez said Sunday. "Today I just got under control to control my fastball where I want. That's what I think made it go better." In his young career, Rodriguez has not yet faced the Rays, the only team in the division he hasn't seen. Against other AL East teams, the 22-year-old has a 6.08 ERA in 26 2/3 innings, a number that's bloated because his other two shaky starts were against the Blue Jays (4 2/3 innings, nine earned runs) and Orioles (3 2/3 innings, six earned runs). The Rays slash .256/.329/.429 vs. left-handed starters compared to their .232/.293/.364 line opposite righties. Ramirez is in the middle of his first season with the Rays, having been traded by the Mariners in March of this year. He's fairly familiar with the Red Sox, as he has three career starts against them and four appearances total, the latest of which was a relief stint on May 4 at Fenway Park. The Rays won that game 5-1 and Ramirez was in to close it out in the ninth, registering a hitless, scoreless frame. During his starts, however, the right-hander has never managed more than 4 2/3 innings against Boston, totaling 11 2/3 in his four-year tenure as a major leaguer. His nine earned runs in all 12 2/3 frames he's been opposite them gives him a 6.39 ERA without any decisions. The two home runs and 11 overall hits he's conceded to the Sox give Boston batters a .229/.356/.354 slash line with him hurling to them. So far this year, Ramirez has split time serving as a bullpen man and as a starter. Seven of his first nine appearances in 2015 were of the relief variety, and he was converted to a full-time starter on May 14. He now has an 8-4 record with a 3.74 ERA in 15 starts and 22 total appearances. The 25-year-old has pitched 91 1/3 innings and has a 1.08 WHIP, holding opponents to a .219 batting average. Until his last start Saturday vs. the Orioles, Ramirez had posted six straight outings in which he gave up one or zero runs. Even when he surrendered five earned runs while the O's were in Tampa Bay last weekend, he still went 7 1/3 innings. He did earn the loss as the Rays mustered just one run of support, though. "It was tough because you don't want to let the other team go to far from the score," Ramirez said. "Even down 4-0, [our offense] can wake up and do everything, but it didn't happen today. I just put it in my mind to forget about the scoreboard and just try to execute pitches and get deeper into the game." Rays vs. Rodriguez (LHP) No current members of the Rays have faced Rodriguez. Red Sox vs. Ramirez (RHP) David Ortiz (7 plate appearances): .000 AVG/.571 OBP/.000 SLG, 4 walks, 1 strikeout Brock Holt (6): .333/.333/.833, 1 HR, 3 RBIs Mike Napoli (6): .500/.667/.500, 1 walk, 1 strikeout Alejandro De Aza (3): .000/.333/.000, 1 walk Xander Bogaerts (2): .500/.500/.500 Jackie Bradley Jr. (2): .500/.500/.500 Pablo Sandoval (1): .000/.000/.000