In his first 710 career major league appearances, new Orioles reliever Francisco Rodriguez allowed more than one homer in a game just once. Last night was the second time.
Brought in to pitch the eighth with the O's leading Seattle 11-6, Rodriguez allowed two solo homers while also recording three strikeouts in the inning.
Rodriguez gave up just two homers in 25 games with Milwaukee, but now has now allowed four in four games over four innings as an Oriole.
"Was trying to be aggressive," he said of his outing last night. "The game was wide open at five or six runs, not trying to walk anybody. But they jumped on pitches right away. Now it's four outings, four homers and all have just about been the leadoff hitter. I may have to mix it up earlier in the count more and start busting people in, because they are swinging too comfortably in the batter's box."
Rodriguez feels he's throwing fine despite the homers.
"I feel good," he said. "The ball is coming out of my hand good. There are a few balls that need to be more down in the zone. But, like I said, this is about adjustments, and I will make them."
The right-hander gave up two homers pitching for the Angels on June 4, 2006 at Cleveland.
"Didn't even remember that," he said. "It's been a long time. Last night, I didn't want to walk anyone with a big lead. I know the mentality would be different with a one-run lead."
Since the O's acquired him July 23 for minor leaguer Nicky Delmonico, Rodriguez has pitched on one day's rest, three days' rest and again with one day. How much does he like to be used out the 'pen?
"It it was up to me, I'd pitch every day," he said. "I prepare myself to pitch every day. Haven't had the chance to get out there yet with a one- or two-run lead. Then you will see the difference in how I approach and attack the hitters."