Red Sox lefthander Eduardo Rodriguez, who has been pitching winter ball in Caracas, Venezuela, had to leave his game for Navegantes del Magallanes in the first inning Tuesday when he suffered right knee discomfort.
Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski wrote in an email, “He tweaked his knee last night pitching. It doesn’t appear to be anything serious.”
In a spring training drill last February, Rodriguez suffered a subluxation of the patellar tendon in that same right knee when he caught his spikes backpedaling for a fly ball. He had a setback in mid-May and didn’t trust the knee until much later in the season.
It is not known whether Rodriguez will be shut down in Venezuela. The native of Valencia is on Venezuela’s roster for the World Baseball Classic in March.
The first three batters of the game Tuesday singled off Rodriguez. After getting an out on a fly ball, he left the game, having thrown 15 pitches. Rodriguez was charged with two runs in what ended as a 2-1 loss for Magallanes.
Rodriguez has made four starts in Venezuela and until Tuesday had pitched well. Red Sox manager John Farrell said earlier this month the plan for Rodriguez was to make five starts as preparation for the WBC. Rodriguez has pitched 10⅔ innings, allowing four runs on 12 hits with four walks and 12 strikeouts.
The Red Sox traded Clay Buchholz to the Philadelphia Phillies on Dec. 20, so the starting rotation is not as deep as it once was.
Peter Abraham of the Globe staff contributed. Follow Nick Cafardo on Twitter at @nickcafardo.