Eduardo Rodriguez

Sunday's Red Sox-Blue Jays matchups: Eduardo Rodriguez vs. Marco Estrada

June 14, 2015 - 4:34 am
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Looking to continue his spectacular breakthrough into the majors, Eduardo Rodriguez will toe the bump for the Red Sox on Sunday afternoon as they look to avoid a sweep at the hands of the red-hot Blue Jays. Rodriguez has been nothing less than magnificent through three big league starts. He has logged 20 2/3 innings with a miniscule 0.44 ERA and an even more impressive 0.73 WHIP. Rodriguez has given up just 3.5 hits per nine, while striking out 21 batters. Opponents are 8-for-69 against him on the campaign, good for a .116 average. After Rodriguez opened his major league career with two consecutive wins, the Red Sox couldn't muster enough offense in his latest start against the Orioles last Tuesday, as he took a no-decision in the 1-0 loss, keeping his season record at 2-0. Despite the result, Rodriguez dominated once again, hurling six shutout innings, giving up three hits and striking out seven. Though not as efficient, throwing just 61 of his 102 pitches for strikes, Rodriguez still limited hard contact, one of the biggest keys to his early success. The southpaw gave up just two line drives, a season low. After Rodriguez took it to his former organization, his ex-teammates lauded his raw pitching ability. "He'€™s got special stuff, there'€™s no doubt about it," said Orioles catcher Matt Wieters, who fanned twice against Rodriguez in 1-0 Orioles win. "We loved him when he was over here. He'€™s got a great arm, and for a young kid he has a great idea what he'€™s doing out there on the mound." Rodriguez will make his second career start at Fenway Park on Sunday afternoon. In his first on June 3, the Venezuelan shut down the Twins for just two hits and one earned run over seven innings of work. This time around, he will be opposed by a Blue Jays offense that has scored the most runs in MLB and a pitcher in Marco Estrada who has thrown well of late. Estrada carries a 3-3 record and a 3.78 ERA into Sunday's game, looking to lead his team to its 11th straight win. In his last three outings he has proven extremely consistent, going 2-0 with a 3.60 ERA. Though he has been vulnerable to hard contact, posting a 34 percent line drive rate over this stretch, he has demonstrated excellent poise in limiting the damage with runners on base. During his last start, an 11-3 drubbing of the Marlins last Monday, Estrada went seven innings, giving up seven hits, including one home run, while striking out six, his second-highest total of the season. The right-hander's big mistake came off the MVP-caliber bat of Giancarlo Stanton in the fourth inning, a two-run shot to right-center field. After the game, Estrada had nothing but praise for his offense after giving him breathing room with a six-run first inning. "Our offense is one of the best out there, and when we score like this, it's hard to beat us," Estrada said. "That [big first] inning, they were asking me if I wanted to go inside, because you can sit for a while and tighten up. It's awesome watching these guys swing the bat." With a potent offense behind him, Estrada certainly can pitch more calmly. Additionally, he will take comfort in his history against the Red Sox lineup. The Red Sox as a team are 2-for-31 against the former Brewer with nine strikeouts and a horrific slash line of .065/.216/.065. Blue Jays vs. Rodriguez (LHP) No Blue Jays have faced Rodriguez. Red Sox vs. Estrada (RHP) David Ortiz (6 plate appearances): .200 AVG/.333 OBP/.200 SLG, 2 strikeouts Dustin Pedroia (6): .200/.333/.200 Pablo Sandoval (6): .000/.000/.000 Hanley Ramirez (5): .000/.000/.000 Xander Bogaerts (4): .000/.000/.000 Brock Holt (4): .000/.250/.000 Mike Napoli (3): .000/.667/.000, 2 walks Sandy Leon is 0-for-2 against Estrada with a strikeout. Mookie Betts has faced Estrada one time and walked. No other Red Sox have faced Estrada.

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