TORONTO — It turns out Rowdy Tellez can hit left-handers, too.
Tellez went deep twice and collected a career-high five RBIs, leading the Toronto Blue Jays to a 10-3 victory over the Boston Red Sox.
It was the first multihomer game for the 24-year-old rookie, who bats from the left side. Three of his eight homers this season have come against lefty pitching, including his two against Eduardo Rodríguez (3-4) on Tuesday night. He is batting .314 with 12 RBIs against lefties.
“I’m just glad [manager] Charlie [Montoyo] gives me every opportunity to face [left-handers],” Tellez said. “I’m just trying to take advantage of it. It just does a lot for my confidence when he throws me in the lineup and lets me face them.”
Tellez put Toronto ahead to stay in the fourth inning, belting a two-run shot off the third-deck façade above right field. Randal Grichuk followed with a drive to left for his eighth homer.
Tellez then made it 6-0 with a three-run shot to right-center in the fifth.
“For us as an offense, it’s good to go out there and play well behind a good start from one of our top pitchers,” Tellez said.
Blue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman (2-6) issued a season-high six walks in six innings, but limited the Red Sox to one run and five hits.
Stroman has been hurt by poor run support this year, but he said he was never concerned.
“I knew guys would break out at some point,” he said. “I’m not really worried about the run support. It’s a really long year. I have a lot of faith in my guys each and every time out.”
Mitch Moreland, Rafael Devers and Jackie Bradley Jr. connected for Boston, but the defending World Series champions were largely held in check after winning 12-2 in the series opener Monday.
Boston had won Rodríguez’s last seven starts. He was charged with six runs and six hits in five innings.
He had gone five straight games without allowing a homer.
“Just missing location and throwing the wrong pitch at the wrong time, that’s what I think,” Rodríguez said.
Manager Alex Cora said he was surprised to see Rodríguez struggle so much against lefties such. Before Tuesday’s game he was giving up a .351 average to lefties in 2019, well above his career rate of .273.
“He was very dominant last year I think against lefties,” Cora said. “We even used him like that in the playoffs to get lefties out. It hasn’t happened this year so we’ll take a look.”
On second thought
Amid much controversy, the Blue Jays picked Monday’s Victoria Day national holiday to give top prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. a scheduled rest day. It did not play out well, with rookie’s absence taking on a life of its own in the Toronto media.
Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins said Tuesday the team should have handled the situation better.
“The one thing that I regret in all of the things that we have talked about with Charlie, I had not talked to him about the importance of Victoria Day,” he said. “There are a lot of things in Canadian culture and about this great country that I have talked to him about, but I did not share with him the importance of Victoria Day.”
Red Sox: 2B Dustin Pedroia (left knee) and INF Brock Holt (right knee) both played seven innings for Triple-A Pawtucket. … LHP Brian Johnson made the second start of his rehab assignment for Double-A Portland, giving up three runs in 1 1/3 innings. … OF J.D. Martinez was sidelined by an illness. Cora said he was available to pinch-hit if necessary, but he likely would return to the lineup Wednesday. … RHP Nathan Eovaldi (right elbow) successfully came through a 35-pitch bullpen session.
Blue Jays: RHP Ryan Tepera (right elbow) was placed on the 10-day injured list and will be meeting with a specialist. RHP Jimmy Cordero was recalled from Triple-A Buffalo to take his roster spot.
Right-hander Rick Porcello (3-4, 4.80 ERA), who takes the mound Wednesday for the Red Sox, has struggled in his starts at Rogers Centre, with a 4-7 record and a 5.47 ERA. Toronto right-hander Aaron Sanchez (3-4, 3.88 ERA) is 4-4 with a 3.91 ERA in 20 appearances against Boston.