The Blue Jays scored 10 times in the fourth and fifth innings, including nine off Eduardo Rodriguez leading the way in their 11th straight win. (Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

Powerful Blue Jays lineup frustrates Eduardo Rodriguez in first career loss

Ryan Hannable
June 14, 2015 - 2:30 pm

You could have seen it coming. Eduardo Rodriguez came into Sunday's game as the first major league pitcher to go at least six innings and allow no more than one run or three hits in each of his first three major league starts. But, facing a lineup as powerful as Toronto's, having a slash line of .308/.366/.498 against lefties this season, his string of exceptional starts was bound to come to an end. And it did, as the left-hander allowed nine runs on eight hits in just 4 2/3 innings, taking the first loss of his major league career. "I mean, I just tried to make good pitches, like you saw," Rodriguez said. "The rest, getting wild a bit, with balls. Stuff like that happens in the game." It wasn't entirely his fault, as his defense behind him played some suspect defense, particularly in the fourth and fifth innings when the Blue Jays scored six and four runs respectively. The only miscue on his part was allowing a three-run homer to No. 9 hitter Ryan Goins in the fourth inning, which gave the Jays a 6-0 lead at the time. "Early on in the inning, they did a good job of putting the bat on the ball, fighting off some tough pitches," manager John Farrell said. "They get a break on some balls that fall in and then a big home run." The Red Sox saw two balls fall in shallow right field in the fourth, with the defense losing the ball in the sun on both occasions. Also, right fielder Alejandro De Aza took a poor route on a ball down the right field line, which may have been catchable. The nine earned runs allowed tied for the most allowed by a Red Sox starter this season. "I don'€™t know if it was an overall lack of command," Farrell said. "He went up against a hot lineup." Farrell isn't kidding, as the Blue Jays have tied a franchise record with 11 straight wins and in those games they are hitting .312 while slugging .518 with 18 home runs. They've also recorded at least 10 hits eight times in the streak. In the three-game sweep at Fenway, they scored 31 runs on 41 hits, including 11 for extra-bases. Their strong lineup was particularly frustrating for Rodriguez, who came into the fourth inning not allowing a hit with runners in scoring position this year (0-for-12). "A lot [of frustration]," Rodriguez said. "You try to make the right pitches and they get a lot of base hits." No pitcher is going to be exceptional every time they take to the mound, which Rodriguez found out for the first time against a powerful Blue Jays lineup.