Red Sox lefty Rodriguez scratched for opener with ‘dead arm’


Boston Red Sox lefty Eduardo Rodriguez will have to wait a little longer before returning to a big league mound.

The Red Sox on Friday scratched Rodriguez as their opening day starter because of a “dead arm.” Nathan Eovaldi will instead face the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park on April 1.

Manager Alex Cora said Rodriguez missed a bullpen session on Wednesday, two days after lasting just two innings in a spring training start. He played catch Thursday and felt fine, and Cora said Rodriguez would have a bullpen session on Saturday.

Rodriguez went 19-6 for Boston. He had been set to start the 2020 season opener before it was delayed by the coronavirus outbreak. The 27-year-old contracted COVID-19 and related heart problems that kept him from pitching at all last season.

Cora said the current issue is unrelated to the myocarditis.

“It’s just dead arm,” he said.

Cora said Rodriguez pushed to make start the opener, but the team took the decision out of his hands.

“Like I told him yesterday, I said, ‘The way you throw the ball, the way your career is going, at one point in your career you will be an opening day starter — maybe more than once,’” Cora said.

Eovaldi started the opener in Rodriguez’s place last year will do so again next week, Cora said. To prepare, he will have two more bullpen sessions before the team breaks camp in Fort Myers, Florida.

“He’s built up as far as the pitches and all that,” Cora said. “He’s ready to go. It’s just a matter of how we manage his week.”


Matthew Boyd allowed two runs in 5 1/3 innings for Detroit, striking out six and giving up five hits and a walk. After struggling in 2020, the right-hander has looked sharp in camp, posting a 2.45 ERA over five starts. Robbie Grossman homered for the Tigers, and 2020 second-round draft pick Dillon Dingler had two hits.

Colin Moran homered for Pittsburgh. Adam Frazier and Kevin Newman each had a double.


Yandy Díaz hit the first of four homers for Tampa Bay and had two hits. Mike Zunino, Willy Adames and Tristan Gray also homered, and Josh Fleming pitched one-run ball over 3 2/3 innings of relief, striking out five.

Top Boston prospect Jeter Downs hit his second homer of the spring, raising his average to .357. Nick Yorke, last year’s first-round draft pick, hit a double for his first extra-base hit in big league camp.


Cincinnati star Joey Votto played for the first time since testing positive on March 10. He went 0 for 2 and struck out twice, and also walked and scored run. It’s still uncertain whether the first baseman will be ready to play on opening day next Thursday.

Jesse Winkler led off the game with a home run and Alex Blandino hit two RBI doubles. Wade Miley worked four innings in the start, giving up a run on four hits.

Arizona starter Madison Bumgarner gave up six runs on four hits and three walks in 5 1/3 innings, striking out seven. Eduardo Escobar and Josh Rojas each homered. The Reds released former NL batting champion Dee Strange-Gordon.


Cleveland starter Logan Allen gave up three hits in five scoreless innings. José Ramírez homered in the first and Owen Miller added a three-run shot in the eighth.

Colorado starter Antonio Senzatela allowed two hits over the first five innings. Colton Welker had two hits to raise his batting average to .366.


Kyle Hendricks, set to start on opening day for Chicago, took a line drive off his quad, came out briefly and then returned to retire the 10 in a row. Hendricks worked 4 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on five hits, striking out four. Joc Pederson homered and Jason Heyward tripled.

Austin Slater hit a three-run homer, Brandon Crawford doubled twice and Joey Bart hit a tying double in the eighth. Nick Tropeano opened the game for the Giants and worked two innings, allowing two runs on three hits.


Chicago starter Carlos Rodón struck out six over 4 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on five hits. Liam Hendricks struck out all three batters he faced in the sixth. José Abreu hit a two-run single and scored on a home run by Yoán Moncada. Zack Collins hit his third home run.

Freddy Peralta struck out eight over 5 1/3 innings for Milwaukee, permitting five runs and six hits. Devin Williams struck out two in the seventh. Josh Hader retired the side with a strikeout in the eighth. Keston Hiura hit his third home run in four days. The Brewers released veteran pitchers Jordan Zimmermann and Brad Boxberger, but want to resign both to minor league deals.


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