In the middle game of the three-game series between the Red Sox and Indians, the Sox will welcome back Joe Kelly while the Indians will be depending on Trevor Bauer.
Last Monday was a good day for Kelly. In his rehab start for Triple-A Pawtucket he struck out 10 Norfolk Tides batters, allowing no runs in 6 1/3 innings.
“He had command of the zone and was explosive tonight,” Pawtucket manager Kevin Boles said after Kelly’s start. “He attacked hitters and it was a good step forward.”
Meanwhile, rain struck in Kansas City where the Red Sox were supposed to take on the Royals, which meant that the big league club would play a doubleheader Wednesday, creating a need for another starter on Saturday. Kelly’s name quickly got tossed in the ring as a possibility to fill that role. On Tuesday, manager John Farrell made Kelly Saturday’s official starter.
Kelly was placed on the 15-day DL back on April 19 with a shoulder impingement. In three starts with Pawtucket while on a rehab assignment Kelly had a 1.26 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and 16 strikeouts in 14 1/3 innings pitched. Prior to going on the DL the 27-year-old right-hander was 1-0 with a 9.35 ERA and a 2.76 WHIP in three starts with Boston.
Kelly will be trying to regain a permanent spot in the rotation, and luckily for him on Saturday he will be facing a team that he has had success against. In two career starts against the Indians, Kelly has a .082 ERA with a 1.45 WHIP, seven strikeouts and four walks. Kelly’s last start against Cleveland was last Aug. 19, when he went six innings and gave up five hits and one run that was unearned in Boston’s 6-4 victory.
Bauer is 3-1 this season with a 3.89 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP. In his last start, the 25-year-old right-hander gave up three runs, but struck out eight in 6 2/3 innings in what ended up being a 5-1 loss to the Twins.
Against the Red Sox Bauer has a whopping 23.63 ERA with a 3.75 WHIP in two games. Bauer faced the Sox earlier this season in a relief role. Back on April 5 Bauer pitched the ninth inning of his team’s 6-2 loss and gave up a two-run home run to David Ortiz while striking out two. Last Aug. 18, Bauer started a game at Fenway, and that outing didn’t go well for him. Bauer was yanked from the game after just 1 2/3 innings after giving up six hits and five runs.
“I threw everything on the edge of the strike zone tonight, and they hit it,” Bauer said after that 2015 start. “So maybe next game I’ll try to throw it down the middle, since that’s something they didn’t hit tonight.”
Indians vs. Kelly (RHP)
Juan Uribe (11 plate appearances): .364 AVG./ .364 OBP/ .455 SLG, 1 double, 1 RBI, 1 strikeout
Marlon Byrd (7): .333/.429/.333, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 1 strikeout
Jason Kipnis (6): .400/.500/.600, 1 double, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts
Carlos Santana 0-for-5 with 1 RBI and 1 strikeout.
Lonnie Chisenhall is 1-for-1 with 2 walks.
Yan Gomes is 0-for-3 with 1 strikeout.
Francisco Lindor is 1-for-3
Jose Ramirez is 1-for-2.
Red Sox vs. Bauer (RHP)
Xander Bogaerts is 0-for-3 with 2 strikeouts.
Brock Holt is 2-for-3 with 1 RBI.
Mookie Betts is 1-for-2 with 1 double and 3 RBIs.
David Ortiz is 2-for-2 with 1 double, 1 HR and 3 RBIs
Hanley Ramirez is 1-for-2.
Travis Shaw is 1-for-2 with 1 strikeout.
Ryan Hanigan is 0-for-1.
Dustin Pedroia walked in his only plate appearance.