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Eduardo Rodriguez will get first start out of All-Star break as Red Sox reset rotation

Eduardo Rodriguez will be on the mound for the Red Sox when they start a four-game series in New York following the All-Star break.Jim Davis/Globe Staff

ANAHEIM, Calif. — The Red Sox had their rotation coming out of the All-Star break set up. But once Nate Eovaldi made the All-Star team — and will be pitching in the game — it changed.

Now the Sox will use Eduardo Rodriguez, Martín Pérez, Eovaldi and Nick Pivetta for the series against the Yankees in New York that starts July 15.

They initially planned to have Eovaldi start the first game of the Yankees series. But manager Alex Cora spoke to American League manager Kevin Cash, and it was decided Eovaldi will pitch an inning in the All-Star Game.

Cora also said Tuesday that Triple-A righthander Tanner Houck could work into the rotation at some point to give the other starters an extra day off. But when that will be hasn’t been determined.


Chris Sale threw two simulated innings Monday in Fort Myers as he continues his comeback from Tommy John surgery.Jim Davis/Globe Staff

A shift for Sale

Chris Sale pitched two simulated innings Monday in Fort Myers and is scheduled to repeat that Saturday, again at Fenway South.

From there he would “probably” start a minor league rehabilitation assignment, according to Cora.

“He’s excited,” Cora said. “He felt great. So stay the course.”

It hasn’t been determined where Sale will make his first minor league start.

Christian Vázquez tagged out the Angels' Jose Rojas during Monday night's game, but the catcher was not in the Red Sox lineup Tuesday.Ashley Landis/Associated Press

Vázquez gets a break

Christian Vázquez was out of the lineup Tuesday night for the Red Sox against the Angels and that was news.

The catcher has started 68 of the 87 games the Sox have played this season — all but two behind the plate. Through Monday, Vázquez had caught 592⅔ innings, the most in the majors.

Vázquez is on pace to start 124 games as a catcher. The last Red Sox player to do that was Jason Varitek, who started 127 games in 2005.

The last catcher in the majors to start at least 124 games was Yadier Molina of the Cardinals with 142 in 2016.

It’s no coincidence that Varitek is now a Red Sox coach who works closely with Vázquez. Or that Molina is one of the catchers Vázquez emulated as a high school player in Puerto Rico.


“I want to be durable and be there for the pitchers,” Vázquez said. “That’s the biggest thing for the team. You want to be there every day.”

Vázquez has been credited with seven defensive runs saved, second in the majors for catchers. His 1.0 defensive WAR leads all catchers.

“Christian Vázquez, what he’s done . . . to post in every game. What an amazing job,” Cora said Monday night after a 5-4 victory against the Los Angeles Angels. “I haven’t talked enough about him.”

Vázquez’s career high for starts was 103 in 2019. He said in spring training that his goal was to catch at least 120 games.

Rodriguez’s renewal

Rodriguez, who is scheduled to start the series finale Wednesday afternoon, has allowed five earned runs over 18 innings in his last three starts. That has dropped his earned run average from 6.21 to 5.42. It’s not where Rodriguez wants to be, but he’s making progress.

“The puzzle is completed,” Cora said.

Cora said Rodriguez has improved his changeup, cutter and four-seam fastball over the last two weeks.

“Confidence comes into play, too,” Cora said. “People like to see results. For him to be able to get swings and misses and not walking people and being to maneuver big-league lineups twice — he didn’t do that too much for a month and half — it’s a good feeling. He feels like he has everything going.”


Good riddance

In a minor trade, the Blue Jays sent first baseman Rowdy Tellez to the Brewers for righthanders Trevor Richards and Bowden Francis. But it was good news for the Sox. Tellez has hit .340 with a 1.184 OPS, 12 home runs and 25 RBIs in 32 career games against the Red Sox.

“He was a pain. He was really good against us,” Cora said.

Defensive whiz

J.D. Martinez won MLB’s “Play of the Week” award for his play in the 10th inning of Saturday’s game at Oakland. With the bases loaded and one out, Martinez caught a line drive off the bat of Elvis Andrus and fired to the plate to throw out Sean Murphy. The Sox ultimately lost the game, 7-6, in 12 innings . . . Marwin Gonzalez, who left Monday’s game with a tight hamstring, is unlikely to play until the weekend . . . The Angels placed third baseman Anthony Rendon on the 10-day injured list with a strained left hamstring. It’s his third time on the IL this season. Infielder Jack Mayfield was recalled from Triple A . . . Former Sox righthander Daisuke Matsuzaka announced he would retire after this season. The 40-year-old returned to Japan in 2015 but has not pitched since 2019 because of injuries. Matsuzaka was 50-37 with a 4.52 ERA for the Sox from 2007-12. He was 33-15, 3.72 in his first two seasons but made only 55 starts combined the following four seasons.


Peter Abraham can be reached at peter.abraham@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @PeteAbe.