Hammers smash Burnley to move on
The 27-year-old struck in the 48th and 50th minutes to add to German Thomas Hitzlsperger's opener on his debut for the three-time FA Cup winners - Kiwi international defender Winston Reid added a fourth with his first goal for the club.
Burnley - who had beaten their opponents in their last meeting in the Premier League in February last year - reduced the deficit through Rodriguez, but the four goal advantage was restored in stoppage time on by Freddie Sears.
For 28-year-old Hitzlsperger - capped 52 times for Germany - it was the perfect start to his career with the club, which had been long delayed after suffering a serious injury following his transfer last June.
"It went so well tonight," said Hitzlsperger, who is in his second spell in England having earlier in his career played for Aston Villa. "I didn't know what to expect after being out for so long. The fans must have forgotten about me. It's been a tough time, so this is a special night for me."
West Ham boss Avram Grant said that the decision at half-time to expose their opponents high defensive line had worked perfectly, however he added he is hoping his season ends differently to last year when as manager of Portsmouth he reached the FA Cup final only to be relegated.
"Stay up and win the FA Cup final? I'd buy that right now," said Grant, before adding that the return to fitness of Hitzlsperger had been crucial to confidence off and on the pitch. Victory sees the Hammers earn an away trip to Premier League rivals Stoke City.