ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Detroit Tigers left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez flagged manager AJ Hinch in the dugout with a first-inning out. He left Wednesday’s start moments later after a brief visit to the mound by athletic trainer Doug Teter.
The 29-year-old injured his left side.
“I felt a little pinch in the side,” Rodriguez said.
Hinch said Rodriguez likely needs a stint on the disabled list.
“He’ll be down for a while,” Hinch said.
Six of seven hitters reached safely against Rodriguez, whose four-seam fastball was averaging 89.5 mph. He mostly relied on his change and cutter against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field.
Rodriguez withdrew from his outing.
“When I was warming up in the bullpen, I felt a pinch in the side,” Rodriguez said. “I couldn’t throw the ball as hard as I could. We’ll see what it is, and we’ll see from there. … I’ll check with the doctors and everything, then we’ll see what it is .”
He threw 23 pitches, 11 for strikes.
“It looks like his left side is in the way,” Hinch said after Wednesday’s 6-1 loss at Tropicana Field. “He said he could go. He never really felt anything during the week and got worse and worse as he warmed up. He tried to go. You could somehow say he was gone.”
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The Tigers signed Rodriguez to a five-year, $77 million deal in November. He entered Wednesday with a 3.72 ERA, but the short outing against the Rays took it to 4.38. He walked 17 and struck out 34 in 39 innings over eight starts.
The Rays loaded the bases with three consecutive singles: Yandy Diaz (88.2 mph fastball), Wander Franco (83.4 mph change) and Harold Ramirez (86.5 mph cutter).
Then, Rodriguez accompanied Randy Arozarena on four pitches.
Francisco Mejia followed up with a two-run single to left field, giving the Rays a 3-0 advantage. Isaac Paredes flew to center field for Rodriguez’s first – and only – out.
Vidal Brujan’s five-length walk ended Rodriguez’s start.
“He waved as I walked out,” Hinch said.
“We made the decision to exit the game,” Rodriguez said.
For his 23 pitches, Rodriguez used eight changes, eight cutters, six four-seam fastballs and a sinker. He won a swing and missed, with his change, and three strikes called.
Rodriguez’s fastball usually averages 91.9 mph.
“At certain times of the year, we all deal with things,” wide receiver Tucker Barnhart said. “I commend Eduardo for trying to get through things. I hate that he has something bothering him. But we just have to do it right, get him back to good health.”
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