BILLINGS — Orlando Rodriguez had to wait an extra hour and 45 minutes to make his first affiliate start, and the delay hardly dampened his performance.
Rodriguez pitched five shutout innings on Monday night, helping the Billings Mustangs beat the Missoula Osprey 3-0 in a Pioneer League game that was pushed back nearly two hours due to thunderstorms. The shutout secured a series win for the Mustangs.
Previously with the independent Schaumburg Boomers, Rodriguez signed a minor league contract with the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday, and he was assigned to Billings on Monday. The 6-foot-2 right-hander from Miami Gardens, Florida, allowed two hits and issued three walks while striking out six on 79 pitches Monday night.
The gem did not result in a win for Rodriguez. His counterpart, Josh McMinn, also went five innings and didn't allow a run. The Osprey righty allowed three hits and no walks, and he struck out nine.
Missoula's bullpen allowed three runs, two of which were unearned. Billings used three relievers — Andrew McDonald, Johnnie Schneider and Francis Peguero — and they combined to allow three hits, issue one walk and record six strikeouts in their four innings.
The Mustangs (9-14) scored the game's first run in the seventh, and they tacked on two more in the eighth.
Billings designated hitter Nate Scantlin went 2 for 4 with a double and a solo home run, the first big fly of his three-year professional career. Second/third baseman Quincy McAfee went 2 for 3.
For the Osprey (12-11), center fielder Dominic Canzone finished 2 for 4 with two doubles, and shortstop Jose Reyes was 1 for 3 with a double and two walks.