CHICAGO -- Fernando Rodriguez is perfect this season when entering the game with runners on base.
The reliever has stranded all 15 of his inherited runners this season, a feat he focused on achieving before the season began.
"It started from Spring Training when they ask you what are your goals for this year," Rodriguez said. "That was my number one goal. That's something I really wanted to accomplish."
Rodriguez said the starters have taken notice, coming to him after the game to thank him. He said he thrives in situations with runners on base, and knows the starters are protective of their ERAs.
"It's kind of funny," Rodriguez said. "I've been thinking about it. I do a pretty good job coming in during the inning like that. But when I put a few runners on, sometimes it ends up finding that little hole and the runs come in."
Astros manager Brad Mills said Rodriguez and Wilton Lopez are relievers he can trust to get starters out of jams.
"Nobody wants to come out with their runners on base, especially with the bases loaded," Mills said. "Sometimes, with pitch count or how they're pitching or whatever, almost dictates that. To have these guys come in and take that responsibility upon themselves to get out of the inning is huge."