Rodriguez sharp as Sox club Twins in opener

Rodriguez sharp as Sox club Twins in opener

BOSTON -- Eduardo Rodriguez certainly earned himself another start -- if not an extended stay in the Red Sox's rotation. The lefty was as masterful in his second start as he was in his debut, leading Boston to a 6-3 victory over the Twins on Wednesday afternoon in the opener of a day-night doubleheader.

Rodriguez (2-0, 0.61 ERA) allowed two hits over seven innings, walking two and striking out seven. According to Elias Sports Bureau, Rodriguez is the first pitcher in the modern era (since 1900) to go seven innings and give up as few as three hits and one run over his first two Major League starts.

"We have the vantage point of getting to know the person in addition to the pitcher, and he's got great aptitude, he's intelligent, in addition to the physical abilities that he demonstrates," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "He's a special kid."

The Red Sox also demonstrated the type of offense they had not seen lately, generating 13 hits. Dustin Pedroia led the charge by going 4-for-5 and Xander Bogaerts chipped in with three hits. David Ortiz hit two doubles and Hanley Ramirez also had a two-hit game. Mike Napoli smacked his ninth home run of the season.

Pedroia's four-hit game

The only damage the Twins were able to produce came on home runs. Brian Dozier hit a solo shot in the third and Eduardo Escobar connected on a two-run blast in the ninth.

"They put enough runs on the board, and Rodriguez was as good as advertised. We tried to hang in there," Twins manager Paul Molitor said.

Escobar's two-run homer

After a 1-6 road trip, the Red Sox have won the first two games of this seven-game homestand.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Rodriguez leaves to big ovation: Rodriguez created plenty of buzz in his Fenway Park debut. After a 1-2-3 seventh inning, Rodriguez got a big hand from the Fenway faithful as he walked back to the dugout. Over his first two starts, the lefty has allowed five hits and one run over 14 2/3 innings. More >

"All my pitches [were working], like my slider was working pretty good with the outside corner and inside corner," Rodriguez said. "My changeup was pretty good, too. My two-seamer, my fastball was pretty good."

Phil falters in the fifth: Phil Hughes allowed the leadoff batter to reach base in three of his first four innings before the Red Sox chased the righty in the fifth, when he gave up three singles to begin the inning. He was chaged with five runs and 11 hits over a season-low 4 1/3 innings, while his ERA rose to 4.96. More >

"It seemed like I gave up a lot of leadoff hits in the innings," Hughes said. "It's not very fun when you feel like you're constantly trying to battle out of jams. Tried to fight as much as I could early on and just gave up too many strings of hits in the fifth. Lack of concentration, not really changing up my times and looks."

Bogaerts stays hot: Bogaerts produced a multi-hit game for the third straight day and is batting .358 since May 11. At Fenway, Bogaerts has been particularly dominant, hitting in nine straight home games since May 6 at a .515 clip.

Bogaerts drives in a pair

"I feel good. Obviously, when you get base hits, help the team win, it's definitely a positive," Bogaerts said. "I just like the way we're playing these last few games in general."

Twins squander scoring chances: On two occasions, the Twins could not muster a hit to drive home runners in scoring position. In the sixth, Danny Santana hit a leadoff single and Dozier followed with a walk before the next three batters were retired in order. Then in the eighth, when Joe Mauer came in to pinch-hit with men on the corners, he grounded into a 3-3-6 double play that ended the inning in short order. Santana could have scored on the play, but Dozier was tagged out trying to beat the throw to second. More >

Red Sox turn two

QUOTABLE
"If he goes to Pawtucket, it's only on the way to Baltimore." -- Farrell, when asked if Rodriguez would be going back to Triple-A. Rodriguez will start in Boston's series at Camden Yards next week

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
After going 3-for-3 against Hughes, Pedroia is hitting .390 in 41 career at-bats against the right-hander. The second baseman is 5-for-5 with two home runs against Hughes this season.

WHAT'S NEXT
Twins:  For Thursday's series finale, the Twins will recall left-hander Tommy Milone from Triple-A Rochester for the 3:05 p.m. CT start. Milone has allowed 13 earned runs in two career starts at Fenway.

Red Sox: On Thursday, the Red Sox will be right back out there at 4:05 p.m. ET for the finale of this four-game series. Knuckleballer Steven Wright makes the start.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. Alec Shirkey is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.