Boston starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez delivers during the first inning Wednesday against the New York Mets. Charles Krupa/Associated Press

Eduardo Rodriguez is running out of time.

With free agency looming and the Red Sox in a virtual dead heat for a playoff spot, Rodriguez is failing to gain any momentum that could turn his disappointing season into a salvageable one.

Tuesday’s start was nothing we haven’t seen before as he lasted just 4 1/3 innings and somehow managed to allow just two runs, despite loading the bases with nobody out in the fourth inning. The Mets scored two, then gave Rodriguez a gift when Pete Alonso got thrown out by a mile at home plate for an important first out that led to Rodriguez’s escape.

Overall, he allowed five hits, walked three and struck out five, though the Red Sox managed to otherwise corral the harmless Mets offense in a 6-3 win.

It was Boston’s sixth straight victory and it was needed to stay just ahead of the Yankees and Blue Jays in the wild-card chase. But it wasn’t very inspiring to see Rodriguez, currently their No. 3 starter, struggling to put guys away with his signature pitch.

“They did a good job laying off his changeup,” Manager Alex Cora said. “In certain counts, there were good changeups and they did an outstanding job putting us in a bad spot. But he limited the damage.”

He wasn’t spotting his fastball particularly well and the Mets looked like they weren’t fooled by the changeup, once a putaway pitch for Rodriguez that’s now getting hit at a career-worst batting average of .268, a far cry from the .186 average his first year in the majors in 2015.

Rodriguez was struggling with it enough on Tuesday that it was fair to speculate if he was tipping his pitches.

“You asked me about tipping bro?” Rodriguez said when asked about it after the game. “I wasn’t throwing strikes. You see the first three innings, I was able to throw the ball right where I wanted and I got those guys out pretty easily. That fourth inning, I wasn’t able to locate my fastball and when you can’t locate your fastball, the changeup isn’t going to work.”

As the Red Sox fight for a playoff spot, and as Rodriguez finishes building his resume ahead of what he hopes might be a lucrative offseason, he hasn’t made a very strong case that he should play a starring role in this team’s future.

“I mean, I don’t worry right now about that,” Rodriguez said. “A little worried about going out there and giving the best I can to win the games. I can’t think of the future right now. We’re playing to go to the postseason. That’s my goal right now.”

With a 4.97 ERA, Rodriguez might not be one of the 10 best pitchers on Boston’s current roster, much less a pitcher deserving of a big payday in the winter.

If the team could write a contract laden with incentives and never pay him more than $12 million a year over a deal not longer than four years, there’s a strong case to be made to keep him around. No matter what happens, it’s a shame to think that a guy once considered to have top-of-the-rotation potential hasn’t yet reached that potential at 28 years old.

He’ll likely have two more chances to make a final impression, with a start coming up Sunday against the Yankees and probably another against the Nationals late next week.

Xander Bogaerts said he’s hoping it’s not Rodriguez’s last with the Sox.

“I built a great relationship since his first year here,” Bogaets said. “It’s kind of crazy to think it’s been six years already that we’ve been together. That time flew by real quick.

“He’s someone that dealt with some injuries early in his career. I still remember his first start against Texas in Arlington, just throwing 97, 98 mph, just throwing gas, and to see him transform into a different type of pitcher. Two-seam, changeup, being able to command his stuff much better than when he came up. He was a power pitcher. But I mean, he did tremendous things for this organization. Hopefully he can stay.”

YELLOW UNIFORMS?: The Red Sox wore their yellow and blue alternate jerseys again Tuesday. That’s four straight games sporting them. What’s going on?

The plan was for the Red Sox to wear the Boston Marathon color scheme uniforms for their three-game series against the Baltimore Orioles this past weekend, then return to their traditional uniforms Tuesday. But the Sox won all three games against the Orioles so why stop? It’s working and baseball obviously is a very superstitious sport.

“We’ll wear them (Wednesday),” Manager Alex Cora said after the Red Sox won 6-3 over the Mets on Tuesday for their sixth consecutive victory.

“Hey, we’re on a good run,” Xander Bogaerts said. “As of now, I don’t anticipate us changing it for tomorrow. I don’t know about the next day. But hopefully tomorrow we have that thing on again. If we win tomorrow, hopefully we see it the next day also. I know it’s not white and red. I know we’re not the Yellow Sox. But we need wins right now. So if it’s yellow, it’s yellow.”

The alternate uniforms are part of Nike’s MLB “City Connect” series. The Red Sox wore them during Patriots’ Day weekend in April.

“If we keep winning, I think we’re going to keep wearing (them) the rest of the season,” Eduardo Rodriguez said.

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