BALTIMORE (AP) — Eduardo Rodríguez won in his return from heart inflammation that caused him to miss the 2020 season, allowing three runs over five innings Thursday to lead the Boston Red Sox over Baltimore 7-3 Thursday in the Orioles’ home opener.
Rafael Devers and Kiké Hernández homered for the Red Sox, who have won four consecutive games for the first time since Aug. 14-18, 2019. Boston has scored 33 runs in the four wins after managing five while getting swept by the Orioles in a three-game series at Fenway Park.
A day after his 28th birthday, Rodríguez made his first big league appearance since Sept. 29, 2019, against the Orioles at Fenway Park.
He started last season on the injured list, and the Red Sox announced Aug. 1 that Rodríguez was going to miss the entire pandemic-shortened season because of myocarditis related to COVID-19. At the time, Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom said he was optimistic Rodríguez would pitch in 2021.
Rodríguez started this season on the injured list after experiencing a dead arm during spring training.
Rodríguez (1-0) gave up four hits, including two-run homers by Ryan Mountcastle in the first and Pedro Severino in the fourth — the first home runs allowed by Boston this season. Rodríguez struck out seven and walked none, throwing at up to 94.7 mph.
Orioles third baseman Rio Ruiz was hit on the left elbow by Rodríguez in the fourth, but the plate umpire Jeremie Rehak ruled he swung at the pitch. Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde angrily emerged from the dugout to protest the call and was ejected.
Matt Harvey (0-1), who didn’t get a decision in his Orioles debut last week at Fenway Park, allowed four runs and seven hits in five innings with five strikeouts and a walk,
Boston took a 4-3 lead in the sixth on an RBI groundout by Christian Arroyo and a run-scoring single by Franchy Cordero off Paul Fry, who was pitching for the second straight day and third time in four games.
J.D. Martinez had an RBI double in the seventh and scored on Marwin González single off Shawn Armstrong. Hernández homered off Tyler Wells in the eighth.
The game drew 10,150.The Orioles are allowing up to 11,000 to attend games under coronavirus restrictions, about 25% of the capacity at Camden Yards.
Red Sox: LHP Chris Sale, who underwent Tommy John surgery on his left elbow prior to last season, is throwing from 120 feet, but manager Alex Cora does not know when he will throw off a mound.
Orioles: OF Outfielder DJ Stewart (hamstring) has been working out at the team’s alternate training site in Bowie, Maryland, and could return for this series.
Red Sox: After a day off, RHP Garrett Richards (0-1, 27.00 ERA) will face the Orioles on Saturday for a second time this season. He allowed six runs and seven hits over two-plus innings in an 11-3 loss on Sunday.
Orioles: LHP Bruce Zimmermann (1-0, 4.50 ERA) will make his third career start Saturday. He picked up his first major league win on Sunday against Boston.
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