St. Petersburg, Fla. — Not again.
The Tigers’ already-battered starting rotation may have taken another hit Wednesday afternoon.
Eduardo Rodriguez, the club’s lefty ace, came out of the game after 23 pitches in the first inning with an apparent injury. His velocity was down on his sinker and four-seam fastball — 89 mph down from 92-93. He was also struggling to locate his change-up and slider.
The Rays scored three times on four singles and had the bases loaded and one out when Rodriguez beckoned to the dugout that something was wrong. Manager AJ Hinch and head athletic trainer Doug Teter rushed out of the dugout to get him.
Right-handed reliever Rony Garcia struck out Taylor Walls and Brett Phillips to keep the damage at three runs.
The Tigers already have four starting pitchers on the injured list — Casey Mize (elbow), Matt Manning (shoulder), Tyler Alexander (elbow) and Michael Pineda (finger). Spencer Turnbull (elbow) has been out all year recovering from Tommy John surgery.
The Tigers didn’t immediately announce the nature of Rodriguez’s injury.