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12:05 PM PT1:05 PM MT2:05 PM CT3:05 PM ET15:05 ET19:05 GMT3:05 12:05 PM MST2:05 PM EST2:35 PM VEN23:05 UAE2:05 PM CT, September 29, 2019
Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts  Attendance: 35,427

Red Sox to play all out as Rodriguez goes for 20th win

(AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

When the Baltimore Orioles signed 16-year-old Eduardo Rodriguez out of Venezuela in 2010, they saw in him the potential to one day front a major league rotation.

Fast forward to today, and Rodriguez has reached that level, only with the Boston Red Sox. The left-hander will look to complete his first 20-win season as the Red Sox host the Orioles in the finale of the regular season Sunday.

Rodriguez (19-6, 3.80 ERA) will get the chance to become the first Boston southpaw to reach 20 wins in a season since Mel Parnell in 1953. Rodriguez will be opposed by Baltimore right-hander Chandler Shepherd (0-0, 7.71) in what will be a bullpen game for the Orioles.

The way Rodriguez pitched in his last start, it seemed the chance to reach 20 wins would elude him. He was roughed up for season highs of seven runs and 11 hits by the Texas Rangers on Tuesday. But he still pitched the required minimum five innings and got the victory.

"It's not even my win," Rodriguez told reporters after the game. "That win is for the team, the lineup, everything they do. They are up there grinding to score more runs. The ones I had before were mine, but this one wasn't mine."

Had Rodriguez lost that outing, he might have been shut down for the season then, but instead he'll go Sunday, also sitting 3 2/3 innings from reaching 200 for the first time in his career. Red Sox manager Alex Cora will field his "A" lineup in support of the 26-year-old in an otherwise meaningless game.

"We have one more game to go, we know Eddie's going for a big 20 tomorrow," shortstop Xander Bogaerts said Saturday. "I think we need to come out tomorrow with a chip on our shoulder and try to get the job done."

For his career, Rodriguez is 9-5 with a 3.20 ERA in 18 games (16 starts) against his former club. Boston acquired him from Baltimore in exchange for Andrew Miller midway through the 2014 season.

The Red Sox (83-78) are ready to put behind them a year in which they failed to make the postseason after winning the World Series in 2018. The Orioles (54-107) are looking to further extend their division rival's woes after winning the first two matchups of the three-game series.

Baltimore clubbed four home runs in winning 9-4 Saturday. Trey Mancini reached 35 homers on the season with one of the blasts, and Jonathan Villar added his 40th stolen base during a sixth-inning rally.

"I think the whole club, we're playing hard in Game 161, 50 games out or whatever we are," first-year skipper Brandon Hyde said. "Continuing to compete. I thought we played with a ton of energy today, played to win."

Shepherd will make his third career start in leading the charge for the Orioles on Sunday. He gave up six runs in three innings against the Blue Jays in his last outing, Monday in Toronto.

Aside from Rodriguez, Bogaerts and third baseman Rafael Devers are also on milestone watch for Boston. Bogaerts' 85 extra-base hits this year are tied with Nomar Garciaparra (1997, 2002) for the most by a shortstop in club history, and Devers is two hits from 200 on the season.

--Field Level Media

Updated September 29, 2019

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