DETROIT ( Associated Press) – Eduardo Rodriguez left the pitch at the plate and his former teammates took advantage.
Jackie Bradley, Kike Hernandez and Rafael Devers hit consecutive RBI doubles in the fourth inning to chase down Rodriguez, and the Boston Red Sox beat the Detroit Tigers 9-7 on Wednesday to win the three-game series.
Manager Alex Cora said, “He was in the middle and when we got him in the zone, we did the damage.”
Boston went 7–1 in the fifth inning and 9–2 after batting in the seventh, and its comfortable cushion became an uncertain two-run lead in the final inning.
Hansel Robles broke out of a base-loaded jam to pop up on the infield to Jonathan Shoup in the eighth and retired the side in the ninth, making a save.
“He did an amazing job,” Cora said.
Nathan Iovaldi (1-0) allowed Shoop’s single home run in the first innings and not much until Akeel Baddoo hit a single homer in the fifth. Iovaldi allowed two runs, four hits and a walk in five innings.
Rodriguez (0-1) dropped a tiebreaking sacrificial fly for second to Alex Verdugo in fourth before a throwing error from fourth baseman Jaimer Candelario to a grounder from Christian Vazquez on a rain-soaked ground.
Boston made the most of the opportunity, hitting three straight run-scoring doubles from the left to end Rodriguez’s outing.
“If you make a mistake, you’re going to pay for it,” Rodriguez said. He said, ‘This is what happened in that innings.
“Too many plates and too many strike zones.”
Trevor Storey followed up with an RBI single on Ronnie Garcia to give the Red Sox a 7-1 lead.
Rodriguez scored seven runs in his second start with the Tigers – earning two – five hits and three runs in 3 2/3 innings. He signed a $77 million, five-year contract in Detroit after playing in Boston for six seasons.
1 overall pick in the 2020 amateur draft, Tigers rookie Spencer Torkelson, first cleared the fence with a two-run homer in the Majors to reduce the deficit to 9-4 in the seventh.
“It’s something to build on,” Torkelson said.
Detroit scored five runs in the seventh and eighth innings.
Jake Dieskman entered the eighth without a boycott and dismissed pinch hitters Miguel Cabrera and Baddu before dropping a single from Victor Reyes and hitting Austin Meadows to allow the Tigers to pull within two runs and end their appearance.
Red Sox: The story played out after missing three games with an illness. “He told me this morning, ‘I’m ready to go,'” Cora said. “I won’t go against it.” … According to Quora, the SS Xander Bogarts was discharged due to general distress.
Tigers: SS Xavier Baez suffered a late thumb injury on his right hand. … Robbie Grossman, who abandoned Tuesday’s game after the sixth inning, did not play in the series finale. “We’re going to give it 24 hours,” manager AJ Hinch said Wednesday morning. “It looks like it’s a lower waistline and a little more back tightness.”
The start of play was slightly delayed after home plate umpire CB Buckner hit Rodriguez’s warm-up pitches in the neck.
The Tigers traded for minor league Jamie Westbrook, giving the Milwaukee Brewers cash for a utility player.
Red Sox: After winning three of four games to split a six-game road trip, Boston have a day off before starting a day of play in 17 straight days ahead of their home opener against Minnesota . The Red Sox are scheduled to start RHP Nick Pivetta (0-1, 6.35 ERA) after right-handed twin Joe Ryan (0-1, 4.50) on Friday afternoon.
Tigers: Hitting the road for the first time, Detroit plays in Kansas City on Thursday night. Tigers RHP RHP Casey Mize (0-1, 7.20) is expected to start against Royals right RHP Brad Keller, who played six scoreless innings at the start of his season against Cleveland last week.
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