Coming into Tuesday night’s game, Joe Kelly was the loser in five of his last six starts. His luck didn’t change against the Orioles. Kelly was able to sneak out of the first inning after giving up a triple, but the damage began in the second when 1B Chris Davis led off with a single. LF Travis Snider and SS J.J. Hardy both singled to load up the bases allowing 2B Ryan Flaherty to pick up an RBI on a sac fly. CF David Lough, the ninth batter in Baltimore’s lineup, then clocked a three-run homer to give the O’s an early 4-0 lead and putting Boston in a familiar position.
Kelly would allow the lead-off man to get on base once again in the third, but the Sox caught Chris Parmelee trying to run home and Sandy Leon picked Snyder off at first to get out of the inning. Joe Kelly would come out for the fourth, but wouldn’t make it out of the inning. He was able to get a strike out and a ground out, but also allowed two singles forcing John Farrell to give him the hook. Robbie Ross Jr would get the call and would give up a hit allowing another run to score that would be charged to the starter. Kelly’s final line: 3.2 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 2 BB, 2 K, 1 HR and another one to add to his loss column. He is now 2-5 on the year with a 5.67 ERA.
Boston’s offense scraped and clawed to get back into the game after getting put behind the eight-ball early, but they couldn’t muster enough runs to get back in the game. A walk in the first inning and a Pablo Sandoval single in the second didn’t lead to much, but the third inning was where the Red Sox had a chance to get closer. Leon led off with a single, and Mookie Betts followed that up with a double. Brock Holt would pick up an RBI on a fielder’s choice. With one out and a man on third, Dustin Pedroia stuck out and David Ortiz flied out to end the inning.
Pablo Sandoval continued his hot streak in the fourth inning driving in Hanley Ramirez on a single to make it 5-2. Hanley got his second hit of the game in the fifth, driving in Pedroia to score in the process.
Boston then lost any momentum they had been gaining when Alexi Ogando gave up a monster double to Manny Machado in the sixth that drove in Flaherty. That run would be charged to Ross as he walked Flaherty earlier in the inning. That would be all that Baltimore needed to put the Red Sox away.
The Sox did put some pressure on in the ninth in a last ditch effort when Pedroia doubled to drive in Betts, however David Ortiz couldn’t find his old magic and lined out to third to end the game. Baltimore defeated the Sox by a final of 6-4.
Once again, Boston couldn’t roll the series win against Kansas City over the weekend into any further success. This has been the story all season long – one step forward, two steps back. They are now 3-7 versus the Orioles in 2015 and have fallen to 31-41 overall. They’ll look to get back on track Wednesday night with ace Clay Buchholz (4-6, 3.87) on the mound to face righty Bud Norris (2-5, 7.57). First pitch is scheduled for 7:10pm.
*Mookie Betts went 1-3 with 2 walks to continue his streak of 10 games with a hit.
*Pablo Sandoval came into the game with a .324 average against starter Ubaldo Jimenez and kept that pattern going with a 2-2 performance against Jimenez. Sandoval would finish the night going 3-4 with an RBI.
*Jimenez wasn’t lights out, but he was good enough for Baltimore going five innings with six hits, three hits, three walks and eight big strikeouts.
*Mike Napoli was dropped to eighth in the lineup Tuesday night, and he didn’t do much to help his status going 0-4 with 4 strikeouts. Napoli’s average has now dropped to .199. According to WEEI’s John Tomase, Napoli said he wasn’t discouraged by the move and had confidence he was “going to start hitting.”
*The Red Sox continue to struggle with runners in scoring position going 3-11 on the night. They left 9 runners on base.
*For the second time in a just a couple weeks, John Farrell’s frustration bubbled over leading to an ejection in the seventh inning for arguing balls and strikes.
Kelly isn’t showing much promise and doesn’t seem to be improving from start-to-start. He is having the same issues he had at the start of the season – can’t locate when he needs to, leaves fastballs out over the plate and seems to overthrow at times. He repeatedly allows the leadoff man to get on base and doesn’t seem to have a go-to put-away pitch when he has a batter reeling with two strikes. It’s a total morale killer when he allows a chunk of runs in the early stages of the game. It may be time for John Farrell to address Kelly’s status in the starting rotation.
Ross was thrown into a difficult spot in the fourth inning in this one with the team behind, but he was able to maintain and keep the Orioles in reaching distance. He pitched 2 full innings allowing a hit and a run, but he allowed Boston to slowly get back into the game.
Sandoval continued his hot streak both in general and against Baltimore starter Ubaldo Jimenez. Sandoval has been one of the more consistent hitters for the Sox in the month of June and tonight was more of the same with Pablo going 3-4 with an RBI. He is now hitting .279 with 24 RBI.
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