Red Sox's Rodriguez returns to site of no-hit bid vs. A's

OAKLAND, Calif. -- The moment Boston Red Sox left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez arrived at Oakland Coliseum on Thursday before the opener of a four-game series, he flashed back to his only career start against the Oakland Athletics last Sept. 4.

"As soon as I got here, I remembered all that," Rodriguez said Saturday.

How could he forget? Rodriguez pitched a no-hitter for 7 2/3 innings before giving up a single to shortstop Marcus Semien on a comebacker. The ground ball hit off Rodriguez's foot, but he got the ball and threw to first. Semien was called out, but after a video replay, the call was overturned. Goodbye no-hitter.

Rodriguez retired the next hitter, keeping the game scoreless, but in the bottom of the ninth, the A's scored a run off Craig Kimbrel for a walk-off 1-0 win.

Rodriguez will face the A's again Sunday afternoon in the finale of a four-game series when he tries to prevent an Oakland sweep.

"I think every starting pitcher dreams about a no-hitter, throwing a perfect game, throwing a no-hitter," Rodriguez said. "If it happens, it happens."

Holding the A's down won't be easy. They hit four home runs Saturday in an 8-3 victory, one each by Mark Canha, Khris Davis, Chad Pinder and Jed Lowrie. They have defeated the Red Sox four straight times.

Rodriguez will face A's right-hander Andrew Triggs. Rodriguez and Triggs are both on hot streaks. Rodriguez is 2-1 with a 3.05 ERA and has five straight quality starts, pitching six innings each time. He lost his first start on April 8 at Detroit, allowing four runs in five innings, but he has gone 2-0 since then in six starts and one relief appearance.

"It's been really good to see Eddie's confidence grow," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "You guys have documented and much has been said about the delivery adjustments he's gone through, the knee situation coming out of spring training last year, but you're seeing a guy pitching with a lot more confidence in terms of the use of his fastball.

"The swing and miss that's there I think has allowed that changeup to come along as a true put-away type of pitch. I think he and (catcher Christian Vazquez) have really formed a really good chemistry and rapport in executing a game plan.

"Eddie's on a good little run in his own right where it's been at least six innings, some low runs allowed, and I know it's his goal, our goal, to continue to get a little bit deeper into games."

Triggs spent almost all of his time in the minor leagues as a reliever and made only six starts for the A's last season, but he has put up the most impressive numbers of any Oakland starter this year.

Triggs is 5-2 with a 2.12 ERA, baffling hitters with a cross-fire delivery, a nasty sinker and an array of breaking balls from different angles. He allowed one or fewer runs in five of his eight starts and had one or no walks four times. He has been particularly tough on left-handed hitters, who are batting just .135 against him.

"I'm obviously pleased with that," Triggs said of his success, "but I'm trying to go outing to outing and focus on who I got to get out next time out.

"I'm not one really at all to sit back and say, 'Wow, how neat is this.' Whether it was a good month in the minor leagues several years ago or a good start up here, I'm just trying to look to my next outing and put one foot in front of the other.

"I'm pleased with how it's going, but there are still things that need to get better and things I'm working on. That's where my mindset is right now."

Triggs is 0-0 with a 4.50 ERA in three career appearances, including one start, against the Red Sox. In his lone start on Sept. 2 last season at the Coliseum, he left the game after one inning with a season-ending back injury.
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