SEATTLE -- First Impressions from the Boston Red Sox' 2-1 win over the Seattle Mariners
* Eduardo Rodriguez is back on track.
Since returning from a second stint in the minor leagues, Rodriguez has clearly figured some things out. In four starts, counting Monday night, Rodriguez has thrown 24 1/3 innings and allowed just seven runs, which translates to a 2.59 ERA.
Rodriguez didn't allow a hit until the fourth inning and kept the Mariners scoreless through the first six innings, having allowed just one hit.
In the seventh, Rodriguez seemed to hit a wall, allowing two doubles and a walk, leading to a run.
It would be nice if Rodriguez could pitch deeper into games -- he's gotten through the seventh inning just once 10 starts this year. But he's clearly evolved from rotation problem spot to dependable starter again.
* Aaron Hill finally had an impact with the bat.
Hill has struggled as he adapts to irregular playing time, batting just .175 in 11 games with only one extra-base hit in 40 at bats.
But with some lefties stacked against the Red Sox on this road trip, he's been in the lineup more and contribute in a big way Monday night, smacking a solo homer to left in the top of the eighth to tie the game.
It will be interesting to see if Hill gets more regular playing time -- even against right-handers -- as the Sox have some concerns about Travis Shaw's defense at third of late.
* Craig Kimbrel remains a ninth-inning adventure.
On the same day he was activated, Kimbrel was thrown right into the fire, called upon to protect a one-run lead in the ninth.
Kimbrel's troubles in non-save situations have been well documented, but he remains effective in save situations: 18-for-20.
However, Kimbrel seldom makes it easy on himself and on Monday, he put two runners on -- one with a wild-pitch on a strikeout, then with a walk to a pinch-hitter batting .241.
One thing that was encouraging: the surgically-repaired knee held up as he came off the mound to field a swinging bunt by Seth Smith.