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There might come a time when the Baltimore Orioles deeply regret trading away Eduardo Rodriguez for a reliever they kept for only a couple of months.
At this point, however, the Orioles have no problem watching the rookie left-hander excel for the Boston Red Sox. Especially when the result ends up in Baltimore's favor.
Steve Pearce scored in the seventh inning on a wild pitch by Matt Barnes, and the Orioles overcame another sharp outing by Rodriguez in a 1-0 victory Tuesday night.
Four pitchers combined on a five-hitter to help Baltimore win for the fourth time in five games. Chad Roe (1-0) pitched 1 1/3 innings to earn his first AL victory, and Zach Britton got five outs for his 16th save.
Rodriguez allowed three hits and three walks over six sparkling innings. The former Orioles prospect was vying to become the first left-hander since Kazuhisa Ishii of the Dodgers in 2002 to win his first three major league appearances.
Obtained by Boston last July for reliever Andrew Miller, Rodriguez struck out seven and lowered his ERA to 0.44. The 22-year-old has yielded only eight hits and a run over 20 1/3 innings.
"Through three starts, we're looking at a pretty special young man," Red Sox manager John Farrell said.
After spending four years in the Orioles' minor league system, Rodriguez is now a star with one of Baltimore's division rivals.
"I'm sure there's some guys, if they could pick a scenario, that he would pitch well and we'd win," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "I don't wish bad on anybody. I know one thing: The Red Sox will trade with us again. If you always make a pretty even trade, they like working with you."
Barnes (2-1) entered in the seventh and immediately gave up the game's first run. Pearce doubled, took third on a single by J.J. Hardy and came home when Barnes bounced a breaking ball past catcher Blake Swihart.
That was enough to end Boston's three-game winning streak and drop the Red Sox into last place in the AL East.
With two on and one out in the eighth, Britton replaced Roe and struck out David Ortiz and Mike Napoli to blunt Boston's final threat.
Red Sox left fielder Hanley Ramirez was removed in the third inning with a bruised left knee. After fouling a ball off his leg, Ramirez remained on the ground for several minutes before resuming his at-bat. He drew a walk and left for a pinch runner.
Orioles starter Miguel Gonzalez departed in the fifth inning with a right groin strain after giving up four hits and a pair of walks.
"I just didn't feel quite right," the right-hander said.
He was replaced by T.J. McFarland, who got two straight outs to strand a runner on third base.
In the bottom half, Baltimore got two runners on with no outs before Rodriguez retired Manny Machado on a fielder's choice and struck out Delmon Young and Adam Jones. After Jones swung through a third strike, Rodriguez enthusiastically pounded his right fist into his glove four times as he walked off the mound.
"Men on first and second with two outs and then strike him out like that," the lefty said. "It's big for me."
Rodriguez finished with a 1-2-3 sixth inning, getting the final out on a close play at first base in which Nolan Reimold was ruled out after a replay review overturned the initial call.
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