Boston’s Eduardo Rodriguez aims for win No. 12
BOSTON — His team’s season-high 10-game winning streak snapped, Eduardo Rodriguez looks to become Boston’s first 12-game winner when the Red Sox face the Toronto Blue Jays in the second game of a four-game series at Fenway Park Saturday.
Rick Porcello failed miserably Friday night in his attempt for No. 12 as the first-place Red Sox dropped a wild 13-7 decision to the Jays. Now, Rodriguez, who hasn’t allowed a run in his last two starts, faces Sam Gaviglio Saturday.
Rodriguez, who has 11 wins despite starting the season late after knee surgery, is 8-3 with a 2.82 ERA in his last 12 starts, allowing two earned runs or less in nine of those 12.
He is 2-0 with a 3.38 ERA against Toronto this season. He is 3-3 with a 5.09 ERA in 10 career appearances, nine starts.
Despite seeing their winning streak snapped, the Red Sox maintained their 3 1/2-game lead atop the American League East over the losing New York Yankees.
“It obviously sucked,” said J.D. Martinez. “There’s really nothing to say. We did a good job getting traffic on base all game. To put up seven runs, I feel like we did a good job all night. You’ve got to tip your hat to the competition.”
Gaviglio will be starting on just two days rest after throwing 48 pitches in a 1 2/3-inning start (six hits, six runs) at Atlanta Wednesday night.
The Jays had been hoping Marco Estrada might be able to start Saturday but he was placed on the 10-day disabled list Friday with a strained left glute muscle. There was some talk of bringing a minor leaguer up for the spot start, but John Gibbons settled on Gaviglio.
Before Friday’s game, Gibbons said, “We thought (Estrada) might be able to go, but it’s not worth it. So that clears a spot. It will probably be Gaviglio … Pretty sure that’s what we’re going to do, and we’ll just let him go. See how long he can go.”
A potential problem for Saturday is the Jays having to use six relievers in Friday night’s win. Gibbons said after Friday’s game, “there will be a move or two, definitely. We’ll figure it all out.”
Gaviglio is 2-3 with a 4.70 ERA this season — in 12 games (10 starts). He hasn’t won since May 25 and lost to the Red Sox as a starter May 30 at Fenway — yielding four runs on seven hits (two homers) in six innings.
The current Blue Jays are a combined 28-for-138 (.203) with four homers against Rodriguez. Justin Smoak is 3-for-10 (.300), but Yangervis Solarte and Luke Maile are both 1-for-6 (.167) and Kevin Pillar 5-for-21 (.238).
No Red Sox player has more than six at-bats against Gaviglio and Martinez and Eduardo Nunez have both homered off the right-hander.
After losing Steve Pearce (day-to-day) with a shin contusion Thursday, the Red Sox were without Andrew Benintendi, who left for the final weekend before the All-Star break on the bereavement list. Sam Travis was summoned from Pawtucket to replace him.
Drew Pomeranz, who hasn’t pitched since May 31 (forearm), made a Triple-A rehab start Friday night — and had his third straight tough start, throwing 78 pitches.
“I felt good today. I felt probably the best I’ve felt this whole time, made pitches when I needed to,” he said. “I gave up a home run there, whatever, just trying to throw a strike (in a) 3-0 (count) and the guy swings. It’s a different game down here. But that’s the best I’ve felt the whole time.”
Lefty Brian Johnson will come off the disabled list to pitch Sunday’s finale for Boston. He hasn’t pitched since July 3 because of hip inflammation.