|1:10 PM PT2:10 PM MT3:10 PM CT4:10 PM ET16:10 ET20:10 GMT4:10 1:10 PM MST3:10 PM EST3:40 PM VEN0:10 UAE (+1)3:10 PM CT, June 17, 2018
Safeco Field, Seattle, Washington Attendance: 46,462
Rodriguez, Red Sox try to salvage split vs. Mariners
Boston Red Sox at Seattle Mariners
- The Red Sox swept a three-game series at Baltimore, and have now won five consecutive road games. Boston's 24-11 (.686) record is the best 35-game road start by the franchise since starting 27-8 (.771) in 2002.
- The Mariners have won four straight games, including a three-game sweep against the Angels. At 44-24, Seattle is 20 games over .500 for the first time since August 24, 2007 (73-53). Only the Marlins had gone longer since being at least 20 games over .500 (Marlins have not been 20 games over .500 since September 28, 2003).
- The Red Sox and the Mariners split their season series 3-3 last year. Five of the six games between the two teams featured a shutout, with Boston shutting out Seattle three times and Seattle shutting out Boston twice.
- David Price is 5-0 with a 2.89 ERA with 40 strikeouts in 37.1 innings in his last six starts. In seven career starts against Seattle, Price has a 2.62 ERA and has limited opposing batters to a .204 average in 55.0 innings.
- In his last home start, Felix Hernandez went a season-high 8.0 innings allowing one run, one walk, and five hits, to go along with seven strikeouts in a 2-1 victory against Tampa Bay. Hernandez has a 4.04 ERA at home compared to a 7.71 road ERA. Among qualified starters, that 3.67 difference in road/home ERA is the largest in baseball.
- Yesterday, Mookie Betts hit his 18th home run of the season, and his first since coming back from his DL stint. Betts has scored 54 runs in 50 games this season, which is the second most in any Boston player's first 50 games in the past 100 years (Ted Williams -- 56 runs through 50 player games in 1950).
- Rangers' Beltre retires after 21 seasons
- Price, Venters named Comeback Players
- Rays cut 1B Cron after 30-homer season
- Cubs' pitching coach Hickey steps down
- Indians OF Martin cleared to work out
Only in Boston can you win five straight starts and still face criticism.
But in Eduardo Rodriguez's case, there's a reason for it.
Rodriguez, a 25-year-old left-hander out of Venezuela, is 8-1 with a 3.64 ERA this season as he heads into Sunday afternoon's start against the host Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field.
In those past five outings, Rodriguez has lasted more than 5 2/3 innings only once, going 6 2/3 innings on May 30 against Toronto.
He has thrown more than 100 pitches in each of those games, including 109 Tuesday against Baltimore as the Red Sox were forced to use three relievers in a 6-4 victory.
"Eduardo was good; I think the next step for him is to go deeper into the game and keep that pitch count down," Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. "He did the job, I'm not saying we're not pleased with the results, but I feel there's more there. There are certain games we need our starters to go deeper and (Tuesday) was one of them."
Even though the Red Sox are 12-1 when Rodriguez starts, his limited outings have taken a toll on the bullpen.
"It means I've been throwing the ball good and I want to keep doing it," Rodriguez said. "I don't know. I'm trying to do the best I can to go deeper in the games. If there's something I've got to change, I will do it. But I just want to keep trying to find it."
Rodriguez can throw a 95-mph fastball and his changeup is considered among the best in the game.
"Sometimes we feel like with his stuff he can bury guys right away," Cora said. "Setting people up for a 2-2 count throw a changeup and then he can go right away 0-2 and use that good changeup. He had a good one (Tuesday). He can bury guys."
Cora was asked if it's a confidence issue with Rodriguez?
"No, he's very confident, to say the least," Cora said. "It's just a matter to make that next step, recognize who you are. Sometimes he gets caught up in being someone who he's not and Eduardo Rodriguez is a good big-league pitcher. His stuff is up there. He should stay with his strength."
Rodriguez said he's been getting advice from teammates and fellow left-handers Chris Sale and David Price.
"They just told me to attack the hitters, attack more, attack more in the counts when maybe you're 0-2, try to put them away as fast as I can," Rodriguez said. "That's the best way to get deep in the games."
Rodriguez is 1-1 with a 2.55 ERA in three career starts against the Mariners.
Seattle is scheduled to start right-hander Mike Leake (7-3, 4.26 ERA), who is 0-2 with a 6.56 ERA in four career starts against the Red Sox. Leake hasn't lost since May 4. Last time out he went six innings, allowing a run on four hits, in a win over the Angels.
Seattle has won two of the first three games of the series, all of which have been decided by one run. Nelson Cruz scored Dee Gordon with a third-inning single for the only run in Saturday's game.
The Mariners are a majors-leading 23-10 in one-run games.
"It says a lot about the character of the guys on this ballclub. We'll continue to roll," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "Those one-run games, that's the name of the game for us."
Updated June 17, 2018