Red Sox Notes: Joe Kelly Works Around One Shaky Inning To Pick Up Win


Sep 14, 2014

joe kellyThe Boston Red Sox sure didn’t look like a team with nothing to play for this weekend in Kansas City.

The Red Sox came from behind Sunday to best the Royals 8-4 and take three of four at Kauffman Stadium.

Take a spin through some of our news and notes from the game below.

— Though his stat line might indicate otherwise, Joe Kelly tossed six strong innings en route to picking up his second win in a Red Sox uniform.

The right-hander had a dreadful second inning, allowing the Royals to build a 4-0 advantage with five consecutive hits, but he otherwise was nearly perfect. Kelly did not surrender a hit outside of that second frame and scattered just two walks — tied for his lowest single-game total since joining the Red Sox.

Kelly also kept nearly everything on the ground, recording 11 of his 18 outs via groundout, and his infielders played sound defense behind him — a stark departure from his previous start.

“He had a five-hitter span where they did a good job of getting into some fastball counts,” Red Sox manager John Farrell told reporters after the game. “I think after the second inning, he and (catcher) David (Ross) clearly made an adjustment by using his curveball a little bit more. It’s such an important pitch for him. … He’s got such electric stuff that he settled in and pitched a solid six innings for us.”

— Daniel Nava’s sixth-inning grand slam was his first in quite some time.

Entering Sunday, the Red Sox outfielder hadn’t homered with the bases loaded since June 12, 2010 — his first game in the majors. In fact, that grand slam came on the very first pitch Nava saw as a major leaguer.

Sunday’s bomb changed the course of the game, giving the Red Sox a 7-4 lead they would not relinquish.

“It was good to help us get the lead,” Nava told NESN’s Gary Striewski, “because Joe went out there and had that rough inning, and then he battled through and got us almost into the seventh. So, to give him that lead like that was something that felt good. But in that situation, I wasn’t trying to hit a home run. I was just like, ‘Alright, let’s put the ball in play.’ ”

— Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts both put on stellar performances as the Red Sox’s Nos. 1 and 2 hitters. The rookies went a combined 5-for-9 with four runs scored. Bogaerts homered in the third inning, driving in Betts and Ross, and finished with a career-high four RBIs.

— David Ortiz left the game left the game in the seventh inning to deal with what Farrell called “a family emergency.” The Red Sox designated hitter is expected to rejoin the team Tuesday when it begins a three-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Christian Vazquez took over Ortiz’s spot in the order and went hitless in two at-bats.

— The Red Sox went 6-1 against the Royals this season, a stat that could come back to bite Kansas City as it fights for a playoff bid in the American League Central.

— Farrell offered his congratulations before the game to the Pawtucket Red Sox, who won the Governors’ Cup on Saturday as champions of the International League

“Regardless of the level, when you’re the last team standing I think there’s significance to it,” Farrell told reporters. “To walk away after a long season, a lot of work done, congratulations to them.

The PawSox will take on Kansas City’s Pacific Coast League affiliate, the Omaha Storm Chasers, on Tuesday in the Triple-A National Championship.

Photo via Peter Aiken/USA TODAY Sports Images

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