Eduardo Rodriguez exits game with right ankle sprain

The team said Rodriguez will be evaluated further.

Eduardo Rodriguez
Red Sox starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez is led off the field by a trainer after he was involved in a collision at first base during the sixth inning against the Blue Jays on Saturday. –AP Photo / Winslow Townson

Starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez left Saturday’s Red Sox-Blue Jays game with a right ankle sprain, after a minor sixth-inning collision with Toronto’s second baseman Lourdes Gurriel Jr. resulted in a tumble. 

With one out and no runners on base, Gurriel connected on the first pitch of the at-bat for a weak grounder up the middle. Rodriguez hustled to cover first, while first baseman Blake Swihart ran off the bag to field the ball. Swihart’s throw back to the base, however, was behind Rodriguez, causing the pitcher to reach in the opposite direction he was running.

After Rodriguez missed the catch, he turned back around and was met with Gurriel sliding head-first into first base. Rodriguez tried to hop over Gurriel, but his lower right leg got caught under the Jays second baseman’s body. On Rodriguez’s way down, his left foot also kicked the back of Gurriel’s head, knocking off his helmet.

Eduardo Rodriguez
Eduardo Rodriguez attempts to avoid tripping over Lourdes Gurriel Jr. in the sixth inning. —Barry Chin/Globe Staff
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The two players remained shaken-up on the ground after the play. Managers and medical staffers from both teams walked onto the diamond to assess the situation.

“He’s a big guy, man,” shortstop Xander Bogaerts said of Rodriguez. “I went over there right away because he’s one of my close buddies on the team. To see him go down and get out of the game, it was a little bit worrying.”

Before the game resumed, Rodriguez returned to the mound with a trainer and threw a few soft pitches. He was then escorted to the dugout.

Right-hander Heath Hembree entered the game to relieve Rodriguez. 

The Red Sox later announced Rodriguez suffered a right ankle sprain and will be evaluated further. X-rays were negative. Rodriguez pitched five and one-third shutout innings, giving up four hits and striking out five.

“He’s moving around, which is encouraging, but obviously, we got to go through tests and all that and see what happens,” manager Alex Cora said.

Eduardo Rodriguez
Eduardo Rodriguez and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. remain on the ground after getting tangled up in the sixth inning. —Barry Chin/Globe staff
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August 16, 2018 | 1:57 PM