Yariel Rodriguez pulled early as Blue Jays throw an astounding 70 pitches in second

Watch as Toronto Blue Jays reliever Yariel Rodriguez sees an early end to his night in his return from thoracic spine inflammation, as Austin Hedges' two-run knock leads John Schneider to take him out in the second inning.

Concerns about the Toronto Blue Jays‘ fifth spot in the rotation might still be present despite the return of Yariel Rodriguez.

The rookie pitcher struggled in his first outing back from the injured list, lasting only 1.1 innings and giving up four runs against the Cleveland Guardians on Friday.

Rodriguez, 27, was placed on the 15-day IL in late April with thoracic spine inflammation after making four starts in the majors.

He has spent the last month rehabbing with triple-A affiliate Buffalo Bisons, making six appearances with the side. In his eight total appearances in triple-A this season, he has a 1.33 ERA and 33 strikeouts in 20.1 innings pitched.

That success didn’t translate on Friday, as he struggled with his control in the second inning and rode up his pitch count before giving up runs and eventually getting the hook.

His final line for the night was five runs, four of them earned, while giving up two hits, three walks and only striking out one. He faced nine batters and threw 52 pitches, 32 of them for strikes.

After getting through the first inning with ease — going three-up, three-down — Rodriguez couldn’t find the strikezone in the second as he walked three batters following a lead-off double to Josh Naylor.

He was pulled after giving up a line drive single to Austin Hedges that scored two, giving the Guardians an early 3-0 lead. Bowden Francis replaced him and gave up a fielder’s choice RBI to Steven Kwan to give Rodriguez his fourth earned run of the night.

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The second inning as a whole was a rough look for the Jays as they finally ended it down 7-0, in no part thanks to the defence as they committed two errors in the frame.

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