LYNCHBURG, VA - Eduardo Rodriguez and the Keys began their six-game road trip off to a great start with a 7-2 win over the Lynchburg Hillcats on Tuesday night. Rodriguez notched his team-leading fourth win of the season on the night. He surrendered just five hits over seven shutout frames while striking out six. 1B Christian Walker blasted a three-run home run in the ninth inning of the victory.
Making his seventh start of the season, LHP Eduardo Rodriguez ran into some trouble in the first inning. The Hillcats loaded the bases with two outs but Matt Weaver grounded out to first base to end the threat. Rodriguez cruised through most of his final six innings of work. On the night, he allowed just five hits, struck out six, and walked three.
Tuesday evening's contest remained scoreless entering the sixth inning. Facing Jarrett Miller, LF Johnny Ruettiger led off the inning with a single to left field. Following a Sammie Starr sac bunt, Jerome Pena singled to right field. Miller struck out Christian Walker but walked Zane Chavez to load the bases. Miller couldn't find the strike zone against Nicky Delmonico and walked in the game's first run. Allan de San Miguel capped off the two-run inning with an infield RBI single.
Miller exited the game after six innings of work. Milled allowed two runs on five hits while walking three and striking out four.
The Keys added an unearned run in the seventh inning and exploded for four runs in the ninth inning. With two on in the ninth, Christian Walker stepped to the plate against Nate Hyatt. During the at bat, Walker popped up in foul territory. 3B Kyle Kubitza overran the ball as it fell harmlessly to the grass. Walker made Lynchburg pay. Later in the at bat, Walker crushed a three-run home run over the left field wall. Walker's first Carolina League homer put the Keys in front, 6-0. Frederick tacked on another run in the frame.
David Walters closed out the game for the Keys and notched a two-inning save. Eduardo Rodriguez (4-2) picked up the win while Miller (3-1) got the loss.
Frederick and Lynchburg will play game two of their three-game series on Wednesday night at City Stadium. The Keys will turn to RHP Tyler Wilson (0-1, 5.00) while the Hillcats will start RHP A.J. Holland (3-1, 3.00). First pitch in Lynchburg, VA is set for 6:05 p.m. Coverage on the Frederick Gorilla Pregame Show will begin at 5:30 p.m. on 1450 AM The Source.