DETROIT (AP) – Eduardo Rodríguez left his pitches on top of the plate, and his former teammates took advantage of it.
Jackie Bradley, Kiké Hernández and Rafael Devers punished Rodríguez with back-to-back RBI doubles in the fourth inning and the Boston Red Sox held on to beat the Detroit Tigers 9-7 on Wednesday.
“He was throwing a lot down the middle, and when we found the balls in the strike zone we hurt,” Boston manager Alex Cora said.
Boston, thus winning the three-game series, entered the fifth inning ahead 7-1 and had a 9-2 lead at bat in the seventh. His comfortable cushion turned into a precarious two-run lead in the final inning.
Hansel Robles got out of a bases-loaded problem in the eighth by getting Jonathan Schoop to fly out to the infield and retire the ninth in order for the save.
“He did an amazing job,” Cora said.
Nathan Eovaldi (1-0) gave up Schoop’s solo homer in the first inning and not much else, until Akil Baddoo hit another no-base homer in the fifth. He gave up two runs on four hits and walked one in five innings.
Rodriguez (0-1) allowed Alex Verdugo a tiebreaking sacrifice fly for the second out in the fourth, before third baseman Jeimer Candelario made an error on Christian Vazquez’s grounder over a rain-soaked field.
Boston took advantage of the opportunity, with three consecutive RBI doubles to left field, which put an end to the Venezuelan’s work.
“If you make a mistake, you pay for it,” Rodríguez acknowledged. “And that’s what happened to me in that inning. Too many balls over the plate and in the strike zone.”
For the Red Sox, Puerto Ricans Hernández, 5-2 with two runs scored and two produced, and Vázquez, 4-0 with one run scored; and the Dominican Devers, 5-1 with a run scored and an RBI.
For the Tigres, Venezuelans Harold Castro, 4-2 with two runs scored, Víctor Reyes, 4-1 with one run scored and Miguel Cabrera, 1-0.
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Boston ambushed E-Rod and took the series