Eduardo Rodriguez

Thursday’s Red Sox-Orioles matchups: Eduardo Rodriguez vs. Miguel Gonzalez

June 25, 2015 - 4:23 am

In the rubber game of a three-game series with the Orioles, the Red Sox send rookie phenom Eduardo Rodriguez to the mound to face Miguel Gonzalez.

Rodriguez has made five starts since being called up at the end of May, working to a 3-1 record and 3.13 ERA. One of those starts was a mess in which he surrendered nine earned runs to the Blue Jays, but each of the other four has been masterful.

The left-hander's most recent start came on Friday against the Royals. Rodriguez got through 6 1/3 innings and allowed just one run. He allowed six hits and walked one while striking out five. The Sox and Rodriguez got the win by a 7-3 score.

"He threw three quality pitches for strikes, but most importantly his fastball location was outstanding," Red Sox manager John Farrell said of his starter's performance.

"He was 96 with the fastball and 86 with the changeup," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "When you have an 8-10 mile-per-hour variation on your fastball and changeup and can command it, you're going to be tough."

Rodriguez, 22, has recorded a WHIP of 1.042 in his first 31 2/3 innings of major league action. He has allowed one or zero runs in four of his five starts. He has more than earned his spot in the rotation through those five outings.

On June 9, Rodriguez threw six shutout innings against the Orioles en route to a no-decision. Thursday's contest will be the first opportunity for Rodriguez to face a team for the second time.

In 12 starts this season, Gonzalez is 5-4 with a 3.33 ERA. The right-hander has accrued a solid 1.123 WHIP.

His last start came June 9 against the Red Sox. In that contest (another showdown with Rodriguez), Gonzalez pitched 4 1/3 shutout innings while allowing four hits and walking two. The game ended in a 1-0 victory for the Orioles.

Gonzalez was forced to leave the game due to a strained right groin that landed him on the DL until Thursday's game.

"It's tough," Gonzalez said following the injury. "I understand that things are going to happen in the field, and it's part of the game. Sometimes you don't want it to happen, but when you're competing, things will happen."

In six of his 12 starts on the season, Gonzalez has allowed one run or fewer. The O's hope that, after a short stint on the disabled list, Gonzalez can return to his solid pre-injury level of performance.

In 11 career appearances against the Red Sox (nine of them starts), Gonzalez has a 2.93 ERA during a combined 58 1/3 innings pitched.

Orioles vs. Rodriguez (LHP)

Chris Davis is 0-for-3 with a strikeout against Rodriguez.

Adam Jones is 0-for-2 with a strikeout and walk in three plate appearances against Rodriguez.

Manny Machado (3 plate appearances): .333 AVG/.333 OBP/.333 SLG

Nolan Reimold is 0-for-2 with a walk against Rodriguez.

Matt Wieters (3): .333/.333/.333, 2 strikeouts

Delmon Young is 0-for-3 against Rodriguez with two strikeouts.

Ryan Flaherty (2): .000/.500/.000

J.J. Hardy is 1-for-2 with a strikeout against Rodriguez.

Steve Pearce is 0-for-1 with a walk against Rodriguez.

No other Orioles have faced Rodriguez.

Red Sox vs. Gonzalez (RHP)

Dustin Pedroia (21 plate appearances): .200 AVG/.238 OBP/.200 SLG, 1 RBI

Mike Napoli (16): .133/.188/.133, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts

David Ortiz (15): .250/.400/.500, 1 home run, 3 RBIs, 3 walks, 2 strikeouts

Mookie Betts (14): .273/.429/.545, 1 home run, 1 RBI, 2 walks

Xander Bogaerts (12): .182/.250/.182, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts

Brock Holt (12): .333/.333/.417, 1 double, 1 strikeout

Hanley Ramirez (8): .429/.500/1.286, 2 home runs, 4 RBIs, 1 walk

Pablo Sandoval (8): .286/.375/.286, 1 walk

Alejandro De Aza (5): .400/.400/.400, 1 RBI, 2 strikeouts

Sandy Leon is 0-for-1 with a walk and a strikeout in two plate appearances against Gonzalez.

Blake Swihart is 1-for-2 with a double against Gonzalez.

Erik Kratz and Travis Shaw have not faced Gonzalez.