Eduardo Rodriguez is beginning to find his groove again, and that was evident in the Boston Red Sox' 3-2 road victory over the Oakland Athletics on Friday night.
Rodriguez threw six innings of shutout baseball while giving up only one hit, walking two and striking out six. He didn't get the victory, but the Red Sox have now won his last six starts and 11 of his 16 starts overall this season. The 28-year-old veteran has a 2.50 ERA over his last three outings.
What's going right for Rodriguez? Quite a bit, it sounds like.
"I would say everything is working really good, location-wise and velocity-wise. My body and everything has been feeling really good," Rodriguez told reporters on a Zoom call after Friday's win. "I would say every start I'm getting better and better -- also working in the bullpen, training room, workouts, everything."
The Red Sox have won eight straight games, which is the second-longest active win streak in Major League Baseball. Boston's 52 wins are the most of any American League or National League team, and its lead over the Tampa Bay Rays for first place in the AL East stands at 4.5 games.
The Sox also have scored the second-most runs (428) in the AL, trailing only the Houston Astros (467). If the starting pitching improves even a little bit -- the Red Sox entered July ranked 27th in starter ERA -- this team will be very tough to beat toward the end of the regular season and in the playoffs.
"I know the hitters we have. They can hit," Rodriguez said. "I just think if we pitch better and better like we've been doing the last eight games, if we pitch better we know we're going to win games. That's what I think is the main goal for me and I would say every pitcher, because I know we're going to score a lot of runs every game."