BOSTON — Tony Renda, the new Boston Red Sox second baseman who spent the early part of the season with the Portland Sea Dogs, came to Boston last week knowing he had no shot of being the most beloved Junipero Serra High alum in the area.

Renda, who was recalled from Pawtucket to replace the injured Ian Kinsler, went to the same San Mateo, California, high school as New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. And because of that, Renda said, a non-football fan found himself rooting for the Patriots each fall.

“I never really got on board with the Niners or Raiders or anything like that,” Renda said. “Sundays, I’d rather be golfing than sitting at home and watching football. But if the Pats are on, I will watch. And I’ll root for them to win solely because of Brady.”

Renda is the 11th Serra alum to reach the majors, with Barry Bonds and Jim Fregosi headlining the list. Brady and Lynn Swann are the two most notable football alums for a school that has one of the best athletic track records in the country.

“To walk the halls of that school, there’s definitely a sense of pride,” Renda said. “Guys like Brady and Barry, they’re idols. The greatest in their sports. There’s definitely a ton of pride around those halls because of them.”

Renda has never met Brady, who graduated 14 years before him. He said he would like to, just as his wife would want to meet Brady’s wife, Gisele Bundchen. He believes that his fellow Serra Padre is the greatest quarterback ever despite being raised with leagues of 49er fans who may argue for Joe Montana.

Brady’s impact on the school has extended far beyond his time there.

“I do know that Tom comes back to the high school every once in a while for fundraisers,” Renda said. “They have a dinner that raises a ton of money for the school every year. He’s been back a few times. They help out whenever they can. The football stadium is named Brady Family Field. I know they do a lot for the school and a lot for the program.”

Renda, who signed a minor league deal with the Red Sox in late April, spent the last three months in New England, making stops in Portland, Pawtucket and now Boston. His appreciation for Brady has grown in that time, having seen the impact Brady has around the region.

On his recent drive from Pawtucket to Boston, Renda noticed how he was, in a way, again following Brady.

“I drove through Foxborough and thought, ‘Wow, I bet Tom Brady has driven on this road,’ ” Renda said “He’s the greatest. He continues to get better. His work ethic, dedication … just everything you need to be great in your sport, to be the best, he has it.”

EDUARDO RODRIGUEZ appears to be making significant strides in his bid to return from the disabled list.

The left-hander threw off the mound before Sunday’s finale with the Yankees. Rodriguez (right ankle) faced teammate Rafael Devers, who stood in the batter’s box while the pitcher fired fastballs, cut fastballs, sliders and change-ups. Rodriguez estimated he threw 30 pitches, his most significant action since suffering his injury in a July 14 start against Toronto.

“My ankle is really good,” Rodriguez said. “Feels great. It was fine throwing. That was a test on the main diamond, and it feels really good.”

“That was impressive, honestly,” Manager Alex Cora said. “He threw a bullpen and that was good to see.”

Rodriguez was in the midst of a 19-inning scoreless string when he turned the ankle covering first base on an infield grounder. He’s been in and out of a walking boot while receiving treatment the last three weeks. Boston moved at the trade deadline for Nathan Eovaldi to bolster the rotation. Rodriguez would give the Red Sox another power arm as a starter or reliever, though he prefers to start.

CHRIS SALE (left shoulder inflammation) isn’t among the three listed starters this week in Toronto.

“He’s OK but he hasn’t thrown a bullpen,” Cora said. “At the same time you start looking at the schedule and I don’t want him to pitch in (Philadelphia). I don’t want him to hit. So we’re kind of going to maneuver the schedule. Probably Baltimore most likely, that’s where it’s going to be.”


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