Pudge's son Dereck Rodriguez gets first hit, throws first K

By Alex Butler

May 30 (UPI) -- Dereck Rodriguez had a series of career firsts in his MLB debut: his first hit, his first thrown strikeout and his first time leaving a game with an injury.

The 25-year-old son of Hall of Fame catcher Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez made his debut for the San Francisco Giants Tuesday at Coors Field in Denver. The Colorado Rockies won the bout 11-4. Rodriguez was called up on Monday.


"I have like four [baseball souvenirs]," Rodriguez told reporters. "First pitch. First strikeout. First hit. They took the bat away. The batting gloves. Pretty much everything I had on ... my sliders. Gone."

Rodriguez replaced Giants starter Jeff Samardzija in the bottom of the second inning after the righty allowed two runs in the first frame. Rodriguez needed eight pitches in his first career exchange. He eventually got Ryan McMahon to fly out to left fielder Mac Williamson.

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Chris Iannetta doubled in the next at-bat, smoking a 74.4-mph curveball to left field.


Rodriguez then settled in against Kyle Freeland. He quickly went up 0-2 on the Rockies starting pitcher, getting two swinging strikes on four-seam fastballs. Freeland took Rodriguez's third offering for a ball.

Rodriguez then threw a 93-mph fastball for his first career strikeout, beating Freeland with some high heat.

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He went up 0-2 on Charlie Blackmon before forcing him into a ground out to end the inning.

Freeland got revenge in the next frame, striking out Rodriguez on five pitches. Rodriguez escaped the bottom of the third inning without allowing a run.

Then came his rocky fourth frame. Rodriguez began the inning by striking out Ryan McMahon and Ianetta, but then surrendered a double to Freeland. Charlie Blackmon reached base on a fielding error by Kelby Tomlinson and a throwing error by Brandon Belt allowed Freeland to score.

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Gerardo Parra then plated Blackmon with an RBI double before Nolan Arenado plated the Rockies' fifth run with another RBI double. Rodriguez got out of the inning by getting Carlos Gonzalez to ground out.

Williamson began the top of the fifth frame with a double to left field. Crawford and Tomlinson both flew out to right field before Rodriguez stepped into the box. The rookie smacked an RBI double to right field, scoring the Giants' first run.


Will Smith replaced Rodriguez on the hill in the bottom of the fifth inning after he took a line drive off of his right leg. Rodriguez went 1-for-2, with an RBI and a strikeout at the plate in his MLB debut. He allowed five hits, four runs, one earned run and a walk, while throwing four strikeouts in 3.1 innings on the mound.

The Giants and Rockies face off in Game 3 of the series at 8:40 p.m. Wednesday in Denver. Colorado is looking for a sweep in the National League West showdown.

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