Red Sox Recall Joe Kelly From Triple-A Pawtucket To Serve As Reliever

Joe Kelly is back in the majors, albeit serving in a different role.

The Boston Red Sox on Sunday recalled the 28-year-old right-hander from Triple-A Pawtucket, filling the roster spot opened up by Heath Hembree’s demotion to the PawSox.

Kelly, who hasn’t pitched in a big league game since June 1, is expected to serve as a reliever for Boston, a role he hasn’t performed in the majors since the beginning of his career. His last relief appearance came on Sept. 29, 2013, with the St. Louis Cardinals.

Kelly did thrive as a reliever during his recent five-game stint in Pawtucket, pitching five scoreless innings of relief in five appearances while striking out nine and walking one.

Kelly has struggled as a starter this season, sporting an 8.46 ERA through six appearances. He allowed seven earned runs over just 2 1/3 innings in his last outing on June 1 and was sent down to Pawtucket after the game.

But the Red Sox hope Kelly can be more effective out of the bullpen, which got lit up by the Minnesota Twins on Saturday night and already is dealing with injuries to key relievers such as Craig Kimbrel and Koji Uehara.

Thumbnail photo via Tommy Gilligan/USA TODAY Sports Images

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