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Triumphant return, eight years later, for K-Rod

Chris McCosky
The Detroit News
Francisco Rodriguez celebrates after the Tigers' 3-0 win.

Anaheim, Calif. — The last time Francisco Rodriguez pitched at Angel Stadium, he was with the home team and he had established a single-season saves record with 62.

That was in 2008.

He has played more games for the Angels than all but three other players. Yet Wednesday was the first time he’s been back on this mound in eight seasons.

“Is that right?” manager Brad Ausmus said. “He’s not been back here since he left?”

No, sir. And he did something else Wednesday he hadn’t done in a while, too — get a four-out save.

He hadn’t had to do that since June 8, 2014.

“I don’t want to do it often, no question about that,” Ausmus said. “But Justin Wilson was not available and I really didn’t want to use Alex Wilson, though I would have. I just decided if we got to four outs left and (starter Michael) Fulmer had to come out, I was going to K-Rod.”

Wasn’t a problem.

Rodriguez first stranded the tying runs and second and third in the eighth by getting Johnny Giavotella to ground out to third.

Then in the ninth, despite going to three full counts and walking Mike Trout with one out, Rodriguez got hot-hitter C.J. Cron to fly out and former Tiger Jefry Marte to strike out to end the game.

It was Rodriguez’s 15th consecutive save.

Twitter @cmccosky

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