Joe Kelly

Joe Kelly

The Red Sox open up a homestand with a three-game set against the Blue Jays beginning on Monday with Joe Kelly pitching against Aaron Sanchez.

Kelly leads Boston starting pitchers with a 4.08 ERA, a 1.02 WHIP and a .200 batting average against. Through 17 2/3 innings over three starts, the 26-year-old has struck out 18 while walking five. Kelly owns a 1-0 record and has been one of the most consistent Red Sox starters after three times through the rotation.

Kelly’s last outing was his worst of the season. In five innings against the Rays, he allowed five runs on eight hits and a walk while striking out seven. He gave up his second home run of the year, a solo shot to Steven Souza Jr., in the first inning. Kelly had a four-run lead entering the sixth inning but gave all four of those runs back to Tampa Bay before exiting the game.

“Didn’t get ahead of the hitters,” Kelly said after the game. “I fell behind with my fastball, which was pretty good for me tonight. That sixth inning, tried to get too fine with it and fell behind hitters, and kind of threw it down the middle from then and they put some good swings on balls and got some good hits. … Just got a little wild. Just missed with some pitches around the zone, and, like I said, I had to come back and throw a strike and not walk somebody, and threw it down the middle.”

In his only career start against Toronto, which came in 2014, Kelly went six innings, allowing two runs on three hits while striking out four and walking two. He got a no-decision in the outing.

Aaron Sanchez

Aaron Sanchez

Kelly’s opponent on the mound is a first-year starting pitcher in Toronto. Sanchez worked in 24 games out of the bullpen last season and has made three starts so far in 2015. He holds a 1-2 record and has thrown just 14 innings combined in those outings. The 22-year-old Californian has a 5.14 ERA, a 1.86 WHIP, nine strikeouts and 12 walks. He has not gone more than 5 1/3 innings in a start, which he has done twice. Sanchez has received some of the worst run support in the league, as the Blue Jays have scored one, two and four runs in his three starts.

In his last outing, in which Sanchez got the win against Baltimore, he allowed two runs on just two hits in 5 1/3 innings. He walked seven Orioles and struck out four.

In 1 1/3 innings pitched over two appearances in Fenway Park, Sanchez has a 1.50 WHIP, one walk and one strikeout, and has not given up a run.

Blue Jays vs. Kelly (RHP)

Russell Martin (8 plate appearances): .500 AVG/.625 OBP/1.000 SLG, 1 home run, 3 RBIs, 2 walks

Jose Bautista (3): .667/.667/1.667, 1 HR, 1 RBI

Josh Donaldson (3): .500/.667/.500, 1 walk

Edwin Encarnacion (3): .500/.667/1.000, 1 double, 1 walk

Jose Reyes has two strikeouts and one RBI in nine plate appearances vs. Kelly.

Kevin Pillar has one HBP in two plate appearances vs. Kelly.

No other Blue Jays have faced Kelly.

Red Sox vs. Sanchez (RHP)

David Ortiz (2): .500/.500/.500

Brock Holt (1): 1.000/1.000/1.000

Dustin Pedroia has one walk and one strikeout in five plate appearances vs. Sanchez.

Mike Napoli has one strikeout in three plate appearances vs. Sanchez.

Xander Bogaerts is 0-for-2 in two plate appearances vs. Sanchez.

Ryan Hanigan is 0-for-2 in two plate appearances vs. Sanchez.

Daniel Nava has one strikeout in two plate appearances vs. Sanchez.

Mookie Betts, Allen Craig, Sandy Leon, Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval have not faced Sanchez.

 

Blog Author: 
Nik Beimler

In losing both of their last two series, the Red Sox have fallen to third in the AL East after being leapfrogged by the Yankees and Rays. Every team in the division is neck and neck, just two games separating fifth place from first, with the Blue Jays sitting at the bottom.

Boston will be looking to bounce back from an 18-7 romping at the hands of the Orioles when it hosts Toronto at Fenway Park early this week.

Having just been swept by the Rays after taking all three games from the Orioles the series before, the Jays appear to be having issues with their consistency. Playing Baltimore, the Blue Jays averaged eight runs a game, while they were held to about two per contest at Tropicana Field. They have scored fewer than five runs in 10 of 19 total games, and of those 10 games, nine have been losses.

“I think over the course of the year we have to be consistent,” pitcher Mark Buehrle said after the Jays’ most recent loss on Sunday. “When we’re scoring 10 runs a game it’s good, and I’m not saying we need to score 10 a game, but we just need to be consistent all around, in all aspects of the game, and it seems like we’re not doing that.

“We have a few games good and a few games bad,” he added. “When we’re going good, we’re not that good, and when we’re going bad, we’re not that. We just need to keep an even head on our shoulders and realize we’re not as bad as we’re playing right now.”

While the Red Sox possess the 10th-worst team batting average in the league at .234, Toronto has the 11th-best average at .248. In similar fashion, the Blue Jays also have a top-10 slugging percentage, registering 63 extra-base hits on the year, 25 for home runs. Boston is in the lower tier of the league for this category too as the Sox slug at a .366 clip and have just 41 extra-base hits to their name, though they have just two fewer home runs than Toronto with 23.

Though the Blue Jays are getting hits, they have been without powerhouse Jose Bautista for five games since last Tuesday when he sustained a right shoulder sprain. He was only hitting .149, but he ranks third on the team in RBIs and first in walks. Bautista told Shi Davidi of Sportsnet that he is still day-to-day but aiming for a return to the lineup against Boston.

In 19 games against the Blue Jays last season, the Red Sox posted a 7-12 record and were swept twice.

Here are the pitching matchups for the series:

Joe Kelly (1-0, 4.08 ERA) vs. Aaron Sanchez (1-2, 5.14 ERA)
Clay Buchholz (1-2, 4.84 ERA) vs. Drew Hutchinson (2-0, 5.48 ERA)
Rick Porcello (1-2, 6.48 ERA) vs. R.A. Dickey (0-2, 5.35 ERA)

WHO’S HOT: RED SOX

— He didn’t make it into the lineup Saturday, but Brock Holt has recorded two-hit outings in each of his last two games, keeping his batting average hovering around .457. Holt’s three-run home run in Friday’s 7-5 win over the O’s was the difference in Baltimore, and he is tied for fifth on the team in RBIs despite having between 25 and 40 fewer at-bats than those ahead of him.

Hanley Ramirez has a two-hit outing streak going himself, having recorded a pair of hits in each of his last three games. His .300 batting average is second on the team behind Holt and first among those with more than 40 at-bats. With 17 RBIs on the year, Ramirez is tied for fifth in the league in that category.

— In the last seven days, catcher Ryan Hanigan has five hits and four runs in 17 at-bats. His .294 average in that time is third behind just Ramirez and Holt, as is his .368 on-base percentage.

Devon Travis

Devon Travis

WHO’S HOT: BLUE JAYS

— With hits in all but four of his games this season, second baseman Devon Travis leads Blue Jays batters who have more than 20 at-bats with a .359 average. His hitless outing on Sunday against Tampa Bay ended a four-game hitting streak, but he also recorded a seven-game run this season from April 12-18. Travis has 16 RBIs on the season, good for first on the team and tied for seventh in the majors.

— Third baseman Josh Donaldson is riding a four-game hit streak of his own and has a .375 average in his last 10 games, .347 on the year with the most at-bats on the team. He is second on the Jays in RBIs with 14 and tied for first in stolen bases with two, swiping both bags against the Rays in Saturday’s loss.

— Though the Red Sox won’t face him this week, pitcher Daniel Norris recorded seven impressive innings in his start on his 22nd birthday Saturday. The lefty earned just one run on five hits and struck out seven.

WHO’S NOT: RED SOX

— If Toronto’s rotation gets criticism, than the Sox’ should, too, as Boston starters combine for a league-worst 5.75 team ERA. In the last seven games, Red Sox starters have allowed 20 earned runs in 37 innings. Their team WHIP of 1.39 is seventh-worst in the MLB, and they’ve earned 66 runs, most in the league. The Red Sox are also tied with the Brewers for most total runs allowed with 69.

— In his last seven games David Ortiz has just three hits in 24 at-bats, dipping his season average below .200 to .194. In that time, though, Ortiz has five RBIs, which is tied with Ramirez for most on the team during that span. He’s also averaging one strikeout per game, which is his largest ratio since he matched it in 2010 with 145 K’s in as many games.

— After a hot start to the season, Xander Bogaerts has cooled off, hitting .129 in his last 10 games and recording two hits in his last 23 at-bats with three walks in that time. His .222 OBP in the last seven days is tied for ninth of 13 on the team.

Jose Bautista

Jose Bautista

WHO’S NOT: BLUE JAYS

— Out of the lineup for the last five games due to injury, Jose Bautista has a .149 batting average on the year and a .200 mark in the last week. Expected to make his return at Fenway, Bautista has hits in just five games this season and seven total in 47 at-bats. However, every time he records a hit he also records at least one RBI, placing third on the team with 10.

— After hitting .268 last season, Edwin Encarnacion is underperforming in 2015. The first baseman is hitting at a .183 clip and has just one hit in his last 16 at-bats. His seven strikeouts in the last seven days lead the team, and while he is fifth on the team with eight RBIs, he hasn’t driven in a run in since Tuesday, six games ago.

— The Blue Jays rotation ranks fourth worst in team ERA at 5.06 through 105 innings pitched and has allowed the second-most home runs in the league at 18. The starters’ WHIP, 1.49, ranks third worst in the majors, and they’ve surrendered 46 walks, third most.

Blog Author: 
Judy Cohen

For a guideline on how to use Brock Holt, the Red Sox might want to look at Tony Phillips' tenure with the A's. (Brian Bahr/Getty Images)Way back in 1988.



The Red Sox‘ starting pitching roller coaster keeps on rolling.

Wade Miley

Wade Miley

The Red Sox‘ starting pitching roller coaster keeps on rolling.

This time the group’s downturn came in the form of Wade Miley’s 2 1/3-inning horror show. This time the lefty second sub-three-inning outing of the season led to a 18-7 Orioles rout of the Red Sox.

Miley was forced from the start in the third inning, in which the hosts put up a six-spot on the scoreboard. The Sox starter was ultimately charged with seven runs (six earned) on five hits and two walks. His ERA now stands at 8.62, having not pitched past 5 2/3 innings in any of his four starts.

It marks the sixth time in 19 games the Red Sox starting pitcher has allowed five or more runs. The rotation carries a 5.94 ERA, worst in the major leagues, with Joe Kelly leading the way with a 4.08 ERA, followed by Clay Buchholz (4.84), Justin Masterson (5.16) and Rick Porcello (6.48).

The loss hands the Red Sox a 2-4 road trip, having won the first game of both their series against the Rays and Orioles before dropping the final two. The Red Sox starters finished the two-series swing with a 5.31 ERA, coming away with three quality starts.

The Red Sox head home out of first-place, standing at 10-9, as Tampa Bay (11-8) holds that top stop, which has won five straight after losing its season opener to the Sox.

Not helping matters was the ineffective work of the bullpen after Miley, with newly-recalled Heath Hembree taking the brunt of the damage, giving up 11 runs in 6 2/3 innings. The righty let the game get out of hand, giving up six runs in 1 1/3 frames.

It marked the fifth straight game the bullpen gave up at least one run. For the road trip, Sox relievers pitched 20 2/3 innings and allowed 17 runs on 31 hits.

SWENSON GRANITE WORKS ROCK SOLID PERFORMER OF THE GAME: The entire Orioles lineup. The group batted around twice, with every starter but one coming away with a multiple hit day.

Here’s what went wrong (and right) in the Red Sox’ latest loss:

WHAT WENT WRONG

– Besides Hembree, other members of the Red Sox bullpen to surrender runs were Anthony Varvaro (2 runs, 1 2/3 innings), Robbie Ross Jr. (run, inning), and Craig Breslow (2 runs, 2/3 innings).

– The Red Sox only managed two runners in scoring position against Orioles starter Bud Norris, who finished his day allowing three runs in 6 2/3 innings.

– Mookie Betts, Allen Craig and Xander Bogaerts all went hitless. Betts also made his first error of the season, misplaying a ball he seemed to have lost in the sun.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

– The Red Sox managed three home runs, coming from Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval, his first as a member of the Red Sox. The Sox came in with the fifth-most homers in the majors and now have 23 on the season. Ramirez hit his second home run — a three-run shot in the ninth.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

It was a short stay in the majors for right-hander Matt Barnes.

Heath Hembree

Heath Hembree

It was a short stay in the majors for right-hander Matt Barnes.

Needing an extra arm in the bullpen to give the group a rest, the team called Barnes up for Saturday’s game against the Orioles, as he was scheduled to start with Triple-A Pawtucket earlier in the day. Barnes went two scoreless innings, while surrendering just two hits.

Following the game, the team sent Barnes back to Pawtucket and called up reliever Health Hembree. Hembree was acquired from the Giants in the Jake Peavy trade last summer. The right-hander pitched in six games with the Red Sox last season, allowing five runs over 10 innings (4.50 ERA).

‘€œHembree, who has been throwing the ball well, gives us another multi-inning guy with some power out there,’€ Red Sox manager John Farrell told reporters in Baltimore.

Barnes will go back to Pawtucket and be inserted back into their starting rotation.

The team still has only three players available off the bench as they have 13 pitchers, and 12 position players.

For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

After falling in extra innings Saturday night, the Red Sox will look to take the rubber match of the weekend series Sunday afternoon in Baltimore against the Orioles.

David Ortiz will get the day off, this after going 0-for-5 in Saturday’s loss.

After falling in extra innings Saturday night, the Red Sox will look to take the rubber match of the weekend series Sunday afternoon in Baltimore against the Orioles.

David Ortiz will get the day off, this after going 0-for-5 in Saturday’s loss.

Hanley Ramirez will take his place as the designated hitter and Brock Holt will get his first start of the season in left field. Allen Craig remains in right field with Shane Victorino on the disabled list. With Ortiz out of the lineup, third baseman Pablo Sandoval slides up to the No. 3 spot in the order.

Sandy Leon will catch Red Sox starter Wade Miley as their lineup will go up against Orioles right-hander Bud Norris.

For an in-depth look at the matchups, click here.

1. Mookie Betts, CF
2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
3. Pablo Sandoval, 3B
4. Hanley Ramirez, DH
5. Mike Napoli, 1B
6. Brock Holt, LF
7. Allen Craig, RF
8. Xander Bogaerts, SS
9. Sandy Leon, C
Wade Miley, LHP

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable
Wade Miley

Wade Miley

In the last game of the Red Sox‘ second series with the Orioles in less than a week, Boston has a chance to rebound from an extra innings loss on Saturday when Wade Miley and Bud Norris get the start for their respective clubs Sunday.

Miley escaped his last start Tuesday against the Rays with a win after tossing 5 2/3 innings of three-hit baseball in which he did not give up a single run. A combined effort with the bullpen, specifically Alexi Ogando (1 IP), Robbie Ross Jr. (1/3 IP), Junichi Tazawa (1 IP) and Koji Uehara (1 IP), kept Tampa Bay off the board. The Rays’ staff would have held Boston scoreless too were it not for an unearned run the Sox gained after an error from second baseman Ryan Brett in the third inning. With Sox pitching holding down the fort, Boston was able to squeak out a 1-0 win.

“As we’ve expected, [Miley] was down in the zone pretty consistently throughout the time on the mound,” said manager John Farrell. “I think his two-seamer and changeup was good against nine right-handed hitters.”

The unblemished start lowered his season ERA from 10.57 down to 6.08.

Miley hasn’t seen the Orioles all that much, having started just one game against them before, a 103-pitch, no-decision outing on Aug. 12, 2013. In seven innings against Baltimore, the lefty gave up seven hits, four runs, a homer, a walk and recorded three strikeouts.

Bud Norris

Bud Norris

While Miley recovered from his shaky second start on Tuesday, Norris has been unable to do so. Lasting just three innings on April 10 against the Blue Jays, Norris exited his first start of the season with an ERA of 24.00 after allowing eight runs on seven hits. His April 15 start against the Yankees was an improvement, as he allowed three runs on five hits in as many innings, but Tuesday’s start in Toronto saw him surrender nine runs on six hits, managing just 2 1/3 innings.

Norris has five starts against the Red Sox to his name and a 1-2 record to go along with them. Holding Boston to a .216 batting average when it sees him, Norris has a 3.41 ERA and gave up 25 hits in 31 2/3 innings pitched. His 1.263 WHIP against the Sox is his fifth best among teams he’s started at least five games against, and his 10.2 strikeouts per nine against them is his third best among individual team splits.

In 2014, Norris had two starts against the Red Sox for 14 1/3 innings. In that time, he posted an ERA of 2.51 and a record of 1-1, giving up four runs and preventing the Sox from hitting any better than at a .163 clip.

Orioles vs. Miley (LHP)

Everth Cabrera (21 plate appearances): .476 AVG/.476 OBP/.762 SLG, 1 double, 1 triple, 1 home run, 3 RBI, 6 strikeouts
Steve Pearce (6): .167/.167/.167, 1 strikeout
Chris Davis (3): .000/.000/.000, 1 strikeout
Adam Jones (3): .000/.000/.000
Manny Machado (3): .333/.333/.333
Alejandro De Aza (2): .000/.000/.000

Red Sox vs. Norris (RHP)

Allen Craig (21 plate appearances): .400 AVG/.429 OBP/.750 SLG, 1 double, 2 home runs, 7 RBI, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts
Dustin Pedroia (15): .222/.533/.444, 2 doubles, 1 RBI, 6 walks, 2 strikeouts
Ryan Hanigan (14): .250/.357/.250, 5 RBI, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts
Pablo Sandoval (13): .200/.385/.300, 1 double, 3 walks, 2 strikeouts
Mike Napoli (12): .167/.167/.167, 1 RBI, 7 strikeouts
David Ortiz (12): .250/.250/.500, 1 home run, 2 RBI, 2 strikeouts
Hanley Ramirez (12): .500/.500/.833, 1 double, 1 home run, 3 RBI
Shane Victorino (11): .375/.545/.500, 1 double, 1 RBI, 3 walks, 1 strikeout
Daniel Nava (9): .375/.444/.625, 2 doubles, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts
Brock Holt (7): .333/.429/.667, 1 triple, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 1 strikeout
Xander Bogaerts (6): .000/.000/.000, 1 strikeout

Blog Author: 
Judy Cohen