Rodriguez allows 2 hits in second major league start, Napoli homers as Red Sox beat Twins 6-3



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BOSTON — Eduardo Rodriguez was supposed to return to the minors after his major league debut. He's not about to go back after his second straight brilliant start for the Red Sox.

Not after he accomplished what no pitcher has done since at least 1900 — pitch at least seven innings, allow no more than three hits and no more than one run in each of his first two outings.

The hard-throwing left-hander gave up one run and two hits with seven strikeouts and two walks in seven innings, and Boston beat the Minnesota Twins 6-3 in the opener of a day-night doubleheader Wednesday.

"He's a pleasure to watch," Boston manager John Farrell said, "a special kid."

Obtained from Baltimore for reliever Andrew Miller at last year's trade deadline, Rodriguez (2-0) made his debut seven days ago in a 5-1 win at Texas that he left after giving up three hits in 7 2-3 shutout innings.

He was surprised last year when the Orioles traded him, he said, "but look at where I am right now. Now I'm going to say thanks to them."

Farrell is thankful to have Rodriguez in Boston's struggling rotation and has no plans to send him back to Boston's Triple-A team in Rhode Island.

"If he goes to Pawtucket," Farrell said with a smile, "it's only on the way to Baltimore" where Boston starts a trip Monday.

Rodriguez allowed just a solo homer by Brian Dozier in the third and an infield single by Danny Santana in the sixth. Alexi Ogando gave up a two-run homer to Eduardo Escobar in the ninth.

"Rodriguez was as good as advertised," Twins manager Paul Molitor said.

The game was a makeup for Monday night's rainout.

The Red Sox scored five runs in 4 1-3 innings against Phil Hughes (4-5). Mike Napoli added a solo homer, his ninth of the season, in the seventh against Michael Tonkin, making it 6-1.

Dustin Pedroia had four singles, Xander Bogaerts added three and David Ortiz had two doubles.

"It's not very fun when you feel like you're just constantly trying to battle out of jams," Hughes said.

After going 1-6 on a road trip, Boston got its second outstanding pitching performance against Minnesota. Clay Buchholz allowed three hits in eight innings in a 1-0 series-opening win Tuesday night.

Rodriguez was dominant through five innings, facing two batters over the minimum. In that span, he struck out seven, walked one and allowed only Dozier's 10th homer that tied it at 1 when it went just inside the left-field foul pole. He retired his last six batters after putting runners at first and second with no outs in the sixth.

CLEANUP MEN

Red Sox President Larry Lucchino and general manager Ben Cherington picked up trash in the stands between games.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Twins: RHP Ricky Nolasco is expected to throw Thursday after leaving Sunday's game against Toronto in the second inning when he felt pain in his right ankle. He is not on the disabled list.

Red Sox: LHP Brian Johnson, a top prospect, was scratched from his Triple-A start Wednesday to get extra rest. In 10 starts with Pawtucket, he is 6-3 with a 2.60 ERA. "There's a typical approach taken with all starters there where they'll skip a start at some point," Boston manager John Farrell said.

UP NEXT

Twins: LHP Tommy Milone (2-1) pitches in the final of the four-game series Thursday night, his first appearance for Minnesota since being sent to Triple-A Rochester on May 1. Milone allowed five runs in four innings in his most recent start with the Twins, picking up his only loss.

Red Sox: RHP Steven Wright (2-2) makes his fourth start this season for Boston in place of Justin Masterson, who is on the disabled list. In his last start, the knuckleballer allowed two homers to Josh Hamilton in a 7-4 loss at Texas.

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