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Eduardo Rodriguez pleaded with his manager for one more inning, even though he knew the answer.
As much as he wanted to keep pitching Monday night, his stellar rookie year was over after the sixth inning of the Boston Red Sox's fourth straight win, 5-1 over the New York Yankees.
"I tried to, but he didn't let me," Rodriguez said. "I know it was a good game for me."
Good game? Great season.
The 22-year-old became Boston's first rookie left-hander to win 10 games since John Curtis went 11-8 in 1972. Rodriguez (10-6) helped halt the Yankees' push for a postseason berth with his 12th outing of allowing one run or fewer in 21 starts, his first outing coming May 28.
He was 4-1 with a 2.08 ERA over his last seven starts and lowered his ERA in the major leagues to 3.85
"He was right at the amount of innings we want him to throw for the season, and I decided to take him out," interim manager Torey Lovullo said. "It's been an impressive run."
New York managed little offense after Alex Rodriguez's sacrifice fly in the first ended Boston pitchers' 29-inning scoreless stretch.
Eduardo Rodriguez yielded seven hits - three in the first inning - walked one and struck out five to cap a year in which Lovullo said Rodriguez "deserves a lot of consideration to be one of our mainstays next year."
Rodriguez got some help from Jackie Bradley Jr., who made two excellent catches in left field, one going back toward the wall to rob Chase Headley in the third.
Then in the sixth, John Ryan Murphy hustled into second base, thinking he had a double, only to be told by umpire Tim Welke that he was out. Bradley snared his drive on the run, too.
"It was pretty amazing to see the footwork and see the reaction and see the route to the ball," Lovullo said. "I know on one of them Murphy thought he had a double. Jackie's amazing."
Bradley didn't see Murphy sail into second.
"I had to be told that he was standing on second and a lot of people got a kick out of it," Bradley said.
Bradley and Travis Shaw each hit two-run homers off Ivan Nova (6-10) to back Eduardo Rodriguez. Deven Marrero hit his first career homer, off Caleb Cotham in the eighth, to make it 5-1.
The Yankees had a chance to clinch their first playoff appearance since 2012 with a win - what would've been their 10,000th franchise victory - and losses by Minnesota, Texas and the Angels.
The Yankees' fourth loss in 10 games came in front of 39,476 fans, the smallest crowd for a matchup in the Bronx between these rivals since May 27, 1999, according to STATS.
New York loaded the bases in the second on a single, walk and second baseman Dustin Pedroia's fielding error, then Alex Rodriguez fell to one knee as he swung under a high fastball for strike three to end the threat.
"My best pitch," E-Rod said. "I tried to throw what I want and get a strikeout."
Nova looked sharp early in his second start for Masahiro Tanaka, who is out with a right hamstring injury, allowing three hits while taking a 1-0 lead into the sixth.
Nova yielded seven hits and four runs in what most likely is the final start of his first year back from Tommy John surgery. Tanaka passed his final hurdle, acing his fielding drills Monday afternoon. The Japanese hurler will start Wednesday in preparation for a possible wild-card game in one week.
"I feel really good. I feel strong," Nova said.
Red Sox: OF Rusney Castillo was given the night off because he had a slight upper right quadriceps strain. Lovullo said Castillo could play in an emergency. ... Hanley Ramirez (right shoulder) is set to begin his rehabilitation in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. "We just thought it would be a good thing to get him started, so he starts on Tuesday," Lovullo said.
Yankees: Nathan Eovaldi (elbow inflammation) played catch for the third time since being shut down early this month. Manager Joe Girardi said he didn't think Eovaldi would be on the roster if the Yankees are in the wild card, but it's possible the right-hander could return in later rounds.
Rick Porcello (8-14) struck out 13 and allowed one run in eight innings against New York on Sept. 1 at Fenway Park, but was the loser in a matchup with the Yankees' Tuesday starter Michael Pineda, who has yielded just one run over his past two starts.
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