Jones rooting for Rodney to break record

Jones rooting for Rodney to break record

SAN DIEGO -- In April of 1975, Randy Jones opened the season by pitching 26 consecutive innings before he allowed his first earned run, setting a Padres record.

Forty-one years later, Jones had forgotten about that mark entirely -- that is, until Fernando Rodney arrived in San Diego and started piling up scoreless innings of his own.

With Rodney's ERA still at 0.00 after 23 1/3 frames entering Friday's game against the Nationals, Jones says he's OK with his record being broken. In fact, he's actively rooting for it to fall.

"I think it's great," Jones said of Rodney's run. "That's what records are meant for. I have no problem with it. He's had a good start to the season. I knew I had a really good start to that [1975] season, but I didn't know it was a record until this year."

Cla Meredith owns the Padres record for consecutive scoreless innings (33 2/3 innings in 2006), but in terms of starting a season, Jones holds the club mark, and Rodney is second.

In his most recent outing, Rodney survived his closest shave yet.

The Marlins' Ichiro Suzuki lined a two-out double into the right-field corner, and Giancarlo Stanton appeared poised to score from first. But with the Mariners trailing by three, the risk wasn't worth the reward, and Stanton held at third, before Rodney ended the threat one batter later by inducing a pop-up.

In the past, Rodney had been known for working his way in and out of trouble -- like his appearance Wednesday. But he hasn't experienced much of that this season. Rodney has allowed only 10 hits this year, and Ichiro's double is the only one to have gone for extra bases.

"We didn't know what we were going to get," Jones said "But he's come out, and he throws strikes, been very, very consistent.

"The way he changes speeds is what I really enjoy. You go back to the old Trevor Hoffman idea that less is better -- of course I've always been a believer in that. I just enjoy watching him dissect guys."

In the eyes of Padres manager Andy Green, Rodney can't possibly have done more to warrant a spot in the All-Star Game presented by Mastercard, which will take place in his hometown ballpark next month.

"He's done everything as well as possible," Green said. "He's also been an unbelievable team leader and a great person and influence on [rookie right-hander] Luis Perdomo, too. There's stuff that doesn't even go in the box score that's been impactful for this organization, not for this year but for the years to come. So I think he clearly deserves to be an All-Star. Hopefully everybody else sees it that way too."

Jones certainly does. And even if Rodney does surpass Jones' record, he still holds one that won't likely be touched for a long time -- if ever. In 1976, Jones won 16 games before the All-Star break, a feat which hasn't been duplicated since.

"I've got that record," Jones said. "And there's no way anyone's breaking it."

AJ Cassavell is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.