BALTIMORE (AP) — For Eduardo Rodríguez, it felt like his first big league start.
The day ended with the same type of emotion.
Rodríguez won in his return from heart inflammation that caused him to miss the 2020 season, allowing three runs over five innings Thursday to lead the Boston Red Sox over Baltimore 7-3 Thursday in the Orioles’ home opener.
“It was a special day,” Rodríguez said. “I went out there in the first inning and it was like my first time in the big leagues. I was almost too excited in the first inning. But I settled down. These guys made plays to win the game and that’s what we’re here for.”
Rafael Devers and Kiké Hernández homered for the Red Sox, who have won four consecutive games for the first time since Aug. 14-18, 2019. Devers’ home run went 452 feet in the center-field seats, Boston’s third-longest since the start of 2019.
Boston has scored 33 runs in the four wins after managing five while getting swept by the Orioles in a three-game series at Fenway Park.
A day after his 28th birthday, Rodríguez made his first big league appearance since Sept. 29, 2019, against the Orioles at Fenway Park.
He started last season on the injured list, and the Red Sox announced Aug. 1 that Rodríguez was going to miss the entire pandemic-shortened season because of myocarditis related to COVID-19. At the time, Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom said he was optimistic Rodríguez would pitch in 2021.
“When they told me that I had myocarditis, my first question was how long is this going to take and if I was going to be able to go back and be normal,” Rodríguez said. “They told me it was going to be fine. After that, I was able to take care of it and get back here today.”
Rodríguez started this season on the injured list after…