FORT MYERS, Fla. — Eduardo Rodriguez struck out six and walked three in four-plus scoreless innings Friday, but Houston rallied with two runs in the sixth inning and four more in the seventh to beat the Red Sox, 6-2.
Two of the walks came immediately after Rodriguez thought he’d struck out Astros shortstop Reid Brignac but didn’t get the call.
“I didn’t get the call from the umpire and let that get in my mind,” he said.
“Those are things that in spring training you’re trying to hone in on and tighten up,” Red Sox Manager John Farrell said. “Still, from just a pitch-execution standpoint and the stuff overall, another quality day for him.”
Of the six hitters Rodriguez struck out, four came on his fastball and two on his slider. Rodriguez struck out Houston’s Jon Kemmer with back-to-back sliders – one on the inner half that Kemmer fouled off, one down and away that Kemmer swung over.
Rodriguez has worked this spring to add depth to his slider, to make it more of a true slider than the cutter-slider he threw. That depth gives the slider more separation in its movement from his fastball and changeup.
“I just pull a little more,” he said. “Now it goes more to the back foot and goes for a strike on the outside corner. It’s working pretty good.”
Houston tagged Boston reliever Noe Ramirez for four runs in the seventh inning and rolled to a 6-2 win. The Red Sox were limited to five hits, all singles by Dustin Pedroia, Sam Travis, Allen Craig, Sandy Leon and Deven Marrero.
YANKEES: Masahiro Tanaka and two relievers combined on a spring training no-hitter against the Detroit Tigers in a 3-0 win at Lakeland, Florida.
New York Manager Joe Girardi didn’t keep the lineup card as a souvenir, but still appreciated the effort.
“I’m happy for our guys,” Girardi said. “It’s fun. Obviously, it means more if it’s the regular season, but still it’s a no-hitter.”
Tanaka, scheduled to start on Opening Day, struck out six and walked two in 41/3 innings. The Japanese ace has thrown 131/3 scoreless innings in exhibition play.
After Chasen Shreve got the final two outs in the fifth, Jordan Montgomery finished up with four perfect innings. Montgomery has emerged as candidate for a bullpen spot and could get into the mix for the open fifth starter spot.
ORIOLES: Right-hander Logan Ondrusek, due to have his elbow examined next week, was released. Ondrusek agreed in December to a non-guaranteed $650,000, one-year contract. The Orioles put him on waivers Wednesday and released him Friday.
Ondrusek is entitled to 30 days’ termination pay, $106,557.
TIGERS: AL rookie of the year Michael Fulmer said the injured right ankle that cost him a start for Detroit earlier this month is 100 percent and that he’s on track to be ready for the start of the regular season.
Fulmer, making his second start since spraining the ankle during an agility drill on March 4, gave up three runs and four hits in 31/3 innings in a 3-0 loss Friday to the New York Yankees.
MARLINS: Miami is still waiting to learn the extent of third baseman Martin Prado’s hamstring injury, including whether he’ll be available for Opening Day.
Playing for Team Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic, Prado hurt himself running out a grounder in the sixth inning of Wednesday’s loss to Team USA.
A career .293 hitter over 10 major league seasons, Prado hit .305 and drove in 75 runs for the Marlins last season.