Eduardo Rodriguez has allowed just one run in his first 14 2/3 major league innings. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Eduardo Rodriguez earning high praise from John Farrell following second dominant start: 'It's a special kid'

Ryan Hannable
June 03, 2015 - 2:14 pm

While one player can never save a season, left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez is doing everything he can to turnaround the Red Sox. The 22-year-old Venezuelan threw 7 2/3 shutout innings in his major league debut last Thursday to earn his first win and followed that up with seven innings of one-run ball Wednesday to earn his second major league win in as many starts in the Red Sox' 6-3 win over the Twins in Game 1 of a day-night doubleheader. Per Elias, Rodriguez is the first pitcher since 1900 with seven or more innings pitched, three or fewer hits allowed and one run or less allowed in his first two big league starts. Putting up numbers like that, he has the chance to become something special. "He does," manager John Farrell said. "And I think anybody in the game who's watched any pitch whether it's been previously with Baltimore or since coming over here. We have the vantage point of getting to know the person in addition to the pitcher. He's got great aptitude, he's intelligent, in addition to the physical abilities that he demonstrates. It is, it's a special kid." The only blemish to Rodriguez's name in his first two starts is a solo home run to Brian Dozier in the third inning of Wednesday's game. He's held opponents to a .102 batting average and has 14 strikeouts and four walks in 14 2/3 big league innings. Prior to getting the call to the majors last week, Rodriguez was 4-3 with a 2.98 ERA in eight starts with the PawSox this year. So did he think he would ever do this well in the big leagues? "No. I didn't think it would be like that," Rodriguez said. "I just want to keep going. If they give me one more, I'll do one more." While when he was called up it was said he would get just one start, but with his two performances to date there is no question he will get another start, and likely many more. His next start is in line to be in Baltimore against the Orioles early next week. "If he goes to Pawtucket it's only on the way to Baltimore," Farrell joked afterwards. Rodriguez was acquired last year by the Red Sox from Baltimore when they traded away Andrew Miller. With Double-A in the Orioles' system last year he went 3-7 with a 4.79 ERA. Although he was surprised to be traded, he said it's all for the best now. "Last year I was surprised when they told me I was going to get traded and go to Boston now, but look at where I am right now," Rodriguez said. "Now I am going to say thanks to them for trading me here." With the Red Sox winning just five games out of their last 14 games, and Rodriguez earning the win in two of them, he's doing more than he can to help turn the season around. "We felt that after his debut that there was an injection of energy and optimism," Farrell said. "I would say that. He's followed it up with another very good start. You see some things really starting to take hold." Rodriguez doesn't think much about the long-term and just focuses on what he himself can control. "I feel pretty good," Rodriguez said. "Like I said, I just try and do the best I can."