Red Sox Recap: Joe Kelly’s streak snapped as Sox fall to Orioles in extra-innings


Joe Kelly is no Pedro Martinez. Wait, you already knew that? Fair enough, but nonetheless, Kelly entered the night with a chance to become the first Red Sox pitcher since the iconic Hall of Famer in 1999 to win nine consecutive starts.

Unfortunately, Kelly wouldn’t stick around long enough tonight to qualify for a win. After a promising start to his outing, Kelly began to unravel in the third inning. First he gave up a two-run homer to Steve Pearce to squander the lead his offense had given him in the top of the inning. Later that inning the O’s would tack on one more on a base hit to center by Chris Davis. Baltimore called for a hit-and-run on the play, so when an errant throw from Mookie Betts missed the cut-off man it allowed Manny Machado to score all the way from first base.

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A base hit from Adam Jones was Baltimore’s 5th of the inning, which sent the trainer out to the mound. Kelly would have to settle for a no decision after exiting with one out in the third inning due to shoulder tightness and fatigue.

Craig Breslow relieved Kelly, giving up another run on a sac fly to Matt Wieters for Baltimore’s 4th run of the game, before escaping the inning.

Boston would battle back to tie the game in the 4th inning, saving Kelly from taking the loss in his injury-shortened outing. Xander Bogaerts delivered a base hit to snap out of his recent funk with runners in scoring position and David Ortiz would drive in his 96th RBI of the season on a sac fly. Pablo Sandoval was thrown out attempting to stretch a single into a double to end the inning, but not before the tying run crossed the plate. The Panda wasn’t running hard out of the box, clearly thinking that his drive to left field was leaving the ball park. Instead it hit off the wall, leading to Sandoval being hit with the tag at second base.

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Baltimore would reclaim the lead in the bottom of the inning on a solo homer by Machado. His 29 home runs are by far the most in the league for a hitter age 23 or under. Houston Astros rookie Carlos Correa is next on that list with 18, while Betts is tied for 4th with 15.

Baltimore’s bullpen has been the best in the league with a 2.87 ERA since April 29, but Travis Shaw was not impressed. He took Brian Matusz deep on a solo shot to center field that tied the game in the 8th, which led us into extra-innings.

Lead-off walks have a habit of coming back to haunt pitchers and the one Jonathan Aro allowed to Gerardo Parra to start the bottom of the 13th doomed the Red Sox. Machado moved the runner to third on a base hit and Davis followed with a sharp single lined just out of the reach of Dustin Pedroia to drive in Parra for the walk-off win.

The Red Sox run a 13-inning marathon for the second time in three days, but come out on the losing end this time.


  • Betts had a career-high 18 game hit streak snapped last night, but didn’t wait around long to start a new one. He beat out an infield single to lead off the third inning in his second trip to the plate, putting him in position to score the first run of the game. During his previous streak he had 9 multi-hit games and he added another to start his new streak.
  • Bogaerts had been 0-for his last-10 with runners in scoring position before a base hit to drive in a run in the 4th inning. He entered the game hitting .351 with RISP, which puts him 4th in the league among hitters with at least 100 plate appearances in that situation this season.
  • Breslow’s 2.1 innings out of the bullpen marked the 13th time this season that a Red Sox reliever recorded at least as many outs as the team’s starting pitcher in that game.
  • Ortiz walked twice in the game, one of which came of the intentional variety. That marked Ortiz’s league-leading 16th intentional walk of the season, breaking a tie he had shared with Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera.


Joe Kelly. STARTING PITCHING . D. . Game Ball

Kelly got off to a promising start, striking out four without allowing a hit through the first two innings. Things fell apart quickly for him in the third inning before he was pulled from the game with a shoulder injury. You could argue that his ugly line for the night (2.1 innings, 3 ER, 5 H, 1 BB) can be chalked up to shoulder soreness that could have effected him in that disastrous inning. On the other hand, given how well Kelly has been pitching lately, an injury is the last thing he needed right now.

RELIEF PITCHING . B. . Game Ball. <strong>Noe Ramirez</strong>

The results weren’t what we were hoping for, as the bullpen takes the loss on a walk-off base hit. Still, you have to be impressed by the workload that Red Sox relievers carried in a 13-inning game where the starter left in the 3rd inning. Only in September can that happen without having to worry about running out of arms. Boston’s bullpen combined to allow only 2 earned runs in 9.2 innings of relief. Ramirez was as impressive as any of them, retiring all four batters he faced and striking out three.

B+. . Game Ball. Dustin Pedroia. OFFENSE

The Laser Show collected a team-high 3 hits in the game and scored a run. Since his return from the DL on September 8, Pedroia is 9-for-25 (.360) at the plate. He has at least one hit in each game he has played this month, including three multi-hit games. The last time Pedroia attempted to come back from this injury he struggled mightily, with only 1 hit in 22 July at-bats. This time around has gone much better, as Pedroia gave himself sufficient time to heal rather than rushing back. That’s a good sign for Pedroia as we look ahead to 2016.