Red Sox

Red Sox

BOSTON - Eduardo Rodriguez did not find himself in good Red Sox company Sunday evening.

That's because there was no company. After his performance on the mound, Rodriguez became the first Red Sox player since 1920 to allow one run or less in six of his first eight career starts.

Rodriguez lasted just five innings on Sunday due to a high pitch count (he was "just missing" on some pitches, according to catcher Ryan Hanigan) but went out with a bang in the 5th inning, striking out three batters to make it eight strikeouts on the day (WATCH).

That also made him the first lefty since 1920 to record seven-plus strikeouts and allow one run or less four times in his first eight career starts.

Ho hum, nothing to see here.

"I felt great today," Rodriguez said. "Tried to make my pitch, the more down I could for groundballs and strikeouts."

Rodriguez has had a couple of outings in which batters have seemed to figure something out about his delivery, but that wasn't the case on Sunday. He allowed just one run on six hits and a walk. Sixty-five of his 101 pitches were strikes, 12 of which were swinging strikes.

You'll see fellow pitchers like Clay Buchholz often giving tips to Rodriguez in the dugout. That's allowed him to feel more comfortable at the major league level.

"Yeah, I feel way better now here with everybody," Rodriguez said. "They try to teach me like how to pitch, all the starting pitchers try to help me a lot, so that's what I feel right now."

Sunday was the first time Hanigan caught Rodriguez in a major league game, and he was impressed by what the rookie could do.

"It's fun. His stuff is explosive," Hanigan said. "When he shakes, I always have a lot of confidence in him because he just knows what he's doing out there. He can read swings, he can read hitters timing. He can do different things with his pitches. It's fun to catch him, for sure."

Rodriguez didn't factor into the decision on Sunday, but did lower his ERA to 3.69. He was knocked around twice by the Blue Jays and Orioles in June, but other than those two starts has been lights out for the Sox.