Eduardo Rodriguez

Friday’s Red Sox-Royals matchups: Eduardo Rodriguez vs. Yohan Pino

June 19, 2015 - 4:45 am

It will be a game of firsts when the Red Sox and Royals take the field on Friday, at least for the pitchers. Eduardo Rodriguez, through four career starts, has never seen the Royals, and Yohan Pino, who's yet to make a start for Kansas City, has never faced the Red Sox. Rodriguez (2-1, 3.55 ERA) last got the ball on Sunday afternoon, the final game in a weekend series with the Blue Jays. The rookie left-hander had garnered a lot of attention through his first three outings, allowing just one earned run in 20 2/3 innings. However, Rodriguez stumbled over the weekend, lasting just 4 2/3 innings against Toronto and giving up nine earned runs on eight hits with three walks and just one strikeout. "I just tried to make good pitches, like you saw. The rest, getting wild a bit, with balls. Stuff like that happens in the game," Rodriguez said following his first loss. "I just tried to make the right pitches in the situation and just do my job. A lot of base hits, bloopers and ground balls." The Blue Jays went on to win the game 13-5, and the loss was Boston's sixth in a row. Since turning the page on Toronto, the Red Sox played a four-game series vs. the Braves and took games two and four of the set. So while their record in their last 10 games is a feeble 2-8, the Sox enter Kauffman Stadium having averaged 4.89 runs per game in that span and have won two of their last three. Kansas City is in quite a different situation. Tops in the AL Central, the Royals are 8-2 in their last 10 and are riding a four-game win streak. But their position is not without its obstacles. Pino is slotting into the rotation for Yordano Ventura, who was  scheduled to start against the Red Sox before inflammation of his ulnar nerve sent him to the 15-day disabled list. "This is something that if you continue to try and battle through it can get worse," Royals manager Ned Yost said of his pitcher's injury on Thursday. "[It] creates weakness and numbness in his hand. It's not a major inflammation, but the best thing to do in this case is just to knock it out, give it time to get out of there, get that fluid out from around there that's causing that inflammation and get back to throwing again." The 31-year-old Pino signed with Kansas City as a free agent in December. He spent 2014 with the Twins, making 11 starts and posting a 2-5 record with an ERA of 5.07 through 60 1/3 innings. He has operated as a relief arm for the Royals this season, giving up just one earned run over 14 frames, walking two and striking out 13 for a 0.64 ERA and a 0-1 record. After being sent down to the Royals' Triple-A affiliate in Omaha on May 12, Pino appeared in seven games, six of which were starts. He managed a 4.93 ERA in that time with a 4-2 mark and 31 strikeouts. Red Sox vs. Pino (RHP) Alejandro De Aza (8 plate appearances): .714 AVG/.750 OBP/.857 SLG, 1 double, 1 walk, 1 strikeout No other Red Sox have faced Pino. Royals vs. Rodriguez (LHP) No current members of the Royals have faced Rodriguez.