ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Detroit Tigers left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez signaled to manager A.J. Hinch in the dugout with one out in the first inning. He exited Wednesday’s start moments later, after a mound visit from athletic trainer Doug Teter.
Six of seven batters reached safely against Rodriguez, whose four-seam fastball averaged 89.5 mph. The 29-year-old primarily relied on his changeup and cutter against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field.
After walking Vidal Brujan, Rodriguez asked to depart from his outing.
He threw 23 pitches, 11 for strikes.
The Tigers signed Rodriguez to a five-year, $77 million contract in November. He entered Wednesday with a 3.72 ERA but the outing vs. the Rays raised it to 4.38. He has issues 17 walks and 34 strikeouts in 39 innings across eight starts.
The Rays loaded the bases with three consecutive singles: Yandy Diaz (88.2 mph fastball), Wander Franco (83.4 mph changeup) and Harold Ramirez (86.5 mph cutter).
Then, Rodriguez walked Randy Arozarena on four pitches.
Francisco Mejia continued the attack with a two-run single to left field, giving the Rays a 3-0 advantage. Isaac Paredes flied out to center field for Rodriguez’s first — and only — out of the game.
Brujan’s five-pitch walk ended Rodriguez’s start.
For his 23 pitches, Rodriguez used eight changeups, eight cutters, six four-seam fastballs and one sinker. He earned one swing and miss, with his changeup, and three called strikes.
Rodriguez’s fastball usually averages 91.9 mph.
This story will be updated.