Brian Johnson’s first major league call-up has ended after just one start.
The Boston Red Sox on Wednesday optioned Johnson back to Triple-A Pawtucket to make room on the 25-man roster for Joe Kelly, who was recalled from the PawSox ahead of his start Wednesday night against the Houston Astros.
Johnson made his major league debut Tuesday against the Astros, allowing four runs on three hits in 4 1/3 innings as the Red Sox fell 8-3 to lose their sixth consecutive game. The 24-year-old left-hander, who took the loss, walked four Houston batters and struck out three.
His demotion does not mean Johnson will not make another start for the Red Sox in the near future, however.
Manager John Farrell did not confirm in his meeting with reporters Tuesday that Kelly’s return to the rotation would be a permanent move. If the right-hander struggles Wednesday — as he has in many of his 14 big league starts this season — he could find himself back in the minors by Thursday.
Kelly started four games during his month in Triple-A, allowing seven runs (six earned) on 14 hits over 19 total innings. He walked six and struck out 18.
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