Red Sox’ Trevor Kelley Claimed off Waivers by Philadelphia Phillies

The Philadelphia Phillies claimed right-handed reliever Trevor Kelley off waivers from the Red Sox on Monday. Both clubs made the transaction official.

Kelley, 26, made his big league debut for Boston this past season on July 2nd, and went on to post a 8.64 ERA and 6.69 FIP over 10 appearances out of the bullpen spanning 8 1/3 innings of work.

A former 36th-round pick out of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2015, the Rhode Island native owns a lifetime 2.37 ERA in the minors over 171 relief outings and 247 innings pitched.

Since Kelley was on Boston’s 40-man roster, the Red Sox’ 40-man roster now stands at 36 players with the non-tender deadline just a few hours away as this is being written.

Red Sox Squander Late Lead, Eventually Fall to Rays in 11 Innings on Same Night They Are Eliminated From Postseason Contention

After salvaging their series against the San Francisco Giants with a 5-4 win on Thursday, the Red Sox kicked off their final road trip of the season and a four-game weekend set against the Tampa Bay Rays with a 5-4 loss in 11 innings on Friday.

While the Red Sox were in the process of losing their 73rd contest of the year, the Cleveland Indians won their 90th in a 5-2 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies, officially eliminating the defending World Series champions from postseason contention in 2019.

Back to Friday’s game itself, making his 31st start of the season for Boston and fourth against Tampa Bay was Rick Porcello, coming off five strong, two-run innings in his last time out against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Tossing six full innings this time around, the right-hander held the opposition scoreless, scattering three hits and zero walks to go along with six strikeouts on the night.

Two of those three hits came on back-to-back singles from Avisail Garcia and Matt Duffy to put runners on the corners with no outs in the bottom half of the third.

Porcello did not back down though, as he fanned Willy Adames on six pitches, got Joey Wendle to fly out to shallow left to hold Garcia at third. and also fanned Austin Meadows on five pitches to escape the jam.

Other than that, the New Jersey native stranded Ji-Man Choi at first following a one-out single in the fourth before retiring the final eight hitters he faced in consecutive order leading into the conclusion of the sixth, the point in which his outing came to a close.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 87 (59 strikes), the 30-year-old hurler turned to his sinker more than 40% of the time he was on the mound Friday, inducing two swings and misses and 15 called strikes with the pitch. He also topped out at 92.8 MPH with his four-seam fastball, a pitch he threw just seven times while Christian Vazquez was behind the plate.

Ultimately getting hit with the no-decision despite the impressive performance while lowering his ERA on the year down to 5.56, Porcello will make his final start of 2019 in his next time out against the Texas Rangers on Wednesday. It could be his last start in a Red Sox uniform as well, but I don’t want to think about that right now.

In relief of Porcello, left-hander Darwinzon Hernandez entered in the seventh inning for his second-to-last appearance of 2019, and he filled the bases on three of the first four Rays he faced, making way for Marcus Walden to come on with still two outs to get in the frame.

Walden was unable to extinguish the flames left behind by Hernandez, however, as he saw his side’s 2-0 lead become a 2-2 tie on a Nate Lowe run-scoring forceout and Adames RBI ground-rule double.

That forced Josh Taylor to come in with two outs and two runners in scoring position, and he allowed the go-ahead run to score on a wild pitch in the dirt with Wendle at the plate. A two-run lead turned into a one-run deficit just like that.

In the eighth, Andrew Cashner walked the first man he faced in Meadows, and that came back to bite him on a one-out RBI double off the bat of Ji-Man Choi to make it a 4-2 contest.

Some heroics on the part of Mitch Moreland that we’ll get to later knotted things up at four runs apiece in the top half of the ninth though, which set up Ryan Brasier to leave one runner on in a scoreless bottom half of the ninth.

Bobby Poyner followed suit by punching out a pair in a clean bottom of the 10th, but Trevor Kelley could not extend things in the 11th, as he walked back-to-back hitters with two outs before serving up a game-winning single to Adames.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against a familiar foe in Rays veteran right-hander Charlie Morton, who held them to two runs over seven innings the last time he opposed Boston at Tropicana Field back on July 24th.

Kept off the scoreboard through the first six innings of this one, it wasn’t until Brock Holt reached base on a one-out double in the seventh when the bats finally got going.

That two-base hit set up Mitch Moreland with a runner in scoring position, and he delivered big time in his third at-bat of the night, taking Morton deep to dead center off an 0-2, 79 MPH curveball on the outer half of the plate.

Moreland’s 16th homer of the season plated the Sox’ first runs of the contest, but Tampa Bay responded with three runs of their own in their half of the seventh as well as another in the eighth.

So, now trailing by two runs headed into the ninth, a Gorkys Hernandez leadoff triple off of Rays closer Emilio Pagan brought the tying run to the plate in the form of Holt.

Holt was unable to come through, lining out to center on the first pitch he saw, meaning Boston was down to their final two outs.

Coming into the weekend, Moreland had only faced off against Pagan three times before Friday, but he came out well on top in round four.

Yup, the 34-year-old did it again, elevating a 1-2, 96 MPH heater from Pagan and depositing it 379 feet into the seats in left field.

That two-run blast, Moreland’s second of the night and 17th of 2019, pulled the Sox back even with the Rays at 4-4, and ultimately sent this one into extras.

Despite that fact though, Mookie Betts, Sandy Leon, and Rafael Devers went down in order in the 10th and Xander Bogaerts, Gorkys Hernandez, Holt, and Moreland were unable to push any runs across in the 11th.

Because of those late offensive struggles, the Rays eventually broke through in the 11th and went on to take the opener of this four-game series by a final score of 5-4 in walkoff fashion.

Some notes from this loss:

Andrew Benintendi left Friday’s game in the third inning due to a left thumb contusion suffered in his first at-bat of the night in the second. He is considered day-to-day.

Mookie Betts went 0-for-5 with one strikeout in his first game back since September 12th.

From MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo:

All in all, pretty brutal night for the Red Sox if we’re being totally honest. The chance to defend their 2018 crown has been squashed before the calendar even turned to October, which is not great.

Next up for the Red Sox, it’s the second game of this weekend series, with right-hander Travis Lakins getting the ball for Boston and fellow righty Tyler Glasnow doing the same for Tampa Bay.

Last time he got the call to serve as the opener for the Sox, Lakins punched out three over two perfect innings back on September 7th against the New York Yankees.

The 25-year-old rookie has yet to face off against the Rays, nor pitch at Tropicana Field.

Glasnow, meanwhile, has posted a 3.60 ERA in two starts spanning five innings since returning from the injured list on September 8th. The Rays are 2-0 in those games.

In his only two starts against the Sox this season, which came in consecutive order back on April 21st and 28th, the 26-year-old surrendered a total of four runs on nine hits and four walks over 12 total innings of work.

First pitch Saturday is scheduled for 6:10 PM EDT on NESN. Red Sox still looking to play spoiler.

 

 

Red Sox Held in Check by J.A. Happ, Fall to Yankees as Xander Bogaerts Picks up 1,000th Career Hit

After taking the opener of a four-game weekend series against the New York Yankees with a commanding 6-1 win on Friday, the Red Sox fell back to Earth on Saturday, as they managed just one run themselves in a 5-1 loss at the hands of the Bronx Bombers to fall back to 76-66 on the season.

Making the first start of his big league career for Boston and 11th appearance overall was Travis Lakins, who was named the opener for this one on Friday in what was another bullpen day for the Sox.

Tossing two no-hit innings like Jhoulys Chacin the day before, the rookie right-hander kept the Yankees off the scoreboard while fanning three of the six hitters he faced on the afternoon.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 29 (17 strikes), Lakins relied on his four-seam fastball more than 48% of the time he was on the mound Saturday, inducing four swings and misses and topping out at 96.1 MPH with the pitch while Christian Vazquez was behind the plate. Four of those heaters were the hardest pitches Lakins has thrown this year, per Red Sox Stats.

Ultimately hit with the no-decision while lowering his ERA on the season down to 4.15, it will be interesting to see if the Red Sox turn to the 25-year-old hurler as an opener again given the level of success achieved in his first go at it.

In relief of Lakins, left-hander Bobby Poyner entered the top of the third in a scoreless contest, and he got another busy day for the Boston bullpen started by sitting down the only three Yankees he faced in order.

The fourth inning is where things got sticky, as Ryan Weber yielded a leadoff double to D.J. LeMahieu before punching out Aaron Judge on four pitches for the first out of the frame.

A line drive to right off the bat of Didi Gregorius should have gone for the second out of the fourth, but with the sun directly in his face, J.D. Martinez, not Mookie Betts, had trouble picking up the ball, and it ended up glancing off his glove before rolling to the wall for a one-out double.

So, with runners at second and third with only one out instead of one runner at first with two outs, Colten Brewer came on for Weber, and he got Gary Sanchez to hit a weak fly ball to shallow right field.

The only thing was, the ball was essentially in no-man’s land, and neither of Mitch Moreland, Brock Holt, nor Martinez were able to come up with it for what would have been the second out.

Nope, instead, Sanchez was credited with a two-run ground-rule double and the Yankees had themselves a 2-0 lead just like that.

Things would not improve for the Sox following that series of mishaps though, not with Edwin Encarnacion unloading on the very first pitch he saw from Brewer, a hanging 81 MPH curveball down the heart of the plate, and depositing it 423 feet over the Green Monster for a two-run blast to double his side’s lead at 4-0.

Brewer was able to escape the fourth without surrendering anything else following that Encarnacion homer, but the damage had already been done.

From there, Trevor Kelley worked his way around two walks in a scoreless fifth, Hector Velazquez stranded the bases loaded with the help of an inning-ending 5-4-3 double play in a shutout sixth, and Josh Smith walked one and struck out another in a clean seventh to make way for Mike Shawaryn in the eighth.

Shawaryn proceeded to punch out the first two Yankees he faced before allowing the next two to reach base, but got out of it by getting LeMahieu to ground into a force out at second to retire the side.

In the ninth, Shawaryn again got the first two outs of the inning in simple fashion, but was unable to keep New York off the scoreboard this time as he plunked Sanchez and served up an RBI double to Encarnacion to increase the deficit to five runs before ending the frame.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against Yankees left-hander J.A. Happ, who entered the weekend fresh off one of his better starts of the season in his last time out against the Oakland Athletics this past Sunday.

Winless against Happ in his first three outings against them this year, that trend continued for Boston on Saturday.

Two hits and one walk. That’s all the Sox bats could manage off of Happ, and none of those three runners made it up to second base either.

It was not until the bottom half of the eighth, with Happ out and right-handed reliever Tommy Kahnle in for the Yankees, when back-to-back one-out singles from Mitch Moreland and the pinch-hitting Marco Hernandez finally put a runner in scoring position.

That led to left-hander Zack Britton taking over for Kahnle, and all Brock Holt could do was watch as strike three blew past him on a 1-2, 95 MPH slider at the knees.

Mookie Betts followed by making hard contact, but only on a ball that was hit right to Aaron Judge in right field to extinguish the threat.

And in the ninth, J.D. Martinez made things a bit interesting against Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman as he took the lefty deep to the Red Sox bullpen off an 0-1, 99 MPH heater on the inner half of the plate for his 35th home run of the season.

That 397-foot solo shot, Martinez’s 16th of the year off a left-handed pitcher, cut the deficit to four runs at 5-1, but that would ultimately go on to be Saturday’s final score.

Some notes from this loss:

The Red Sox went 0-for-2 with runners in scoring position on Saturday. They left four men on base as a team.

Xander Bogaerts collected the 1,000th hit of his major league career on Saturday with a fourth-inning single.

From Red Sox Notes:

From The Eagle-Tribune’s Chris Mason:

As of right now, the Red Sox are 6 1/2 games behind the Oakland A’s for the second American League Wild Card Spot. That is sure to change with the A’s, Cleveland Indians, and Tampa Bay Rays all in action on Saturday night.

Next up for the Red Sox, it’s the third installment of this four-game set on Sunday Night Baseball, with right-hander Rick Porcello getting the ball for Boston and fellow righty Masahiro Tanaka doing the same for New York.

Porcello struggled mightily in his first start of September against the Minnesota Twins, surrendering six earned runs on eight hits in an eventual 6-5 loss this past Tuesday.

In his last start against the Yankes, the 30-year-old toughed out a quality outing after allowing two runs in the second inning of a contest the Sox eventually won by a final score of 19-3.

Tanaka opposed Porcello in that game on July 25th, when he yielded 12 earned runs in just 3 1/3 innings of work and ultimately got hit with the losing decision.

The 30-year-old has recovered nicely since then though, posting an ERA of 3.38 and batting average against of .250 over his last seven starts and 42 2/3 innings pitched. The Yankees are 5-2 in those games.

First pitch Sunday is scheduled for 8:05 PM EDT on ESPN.

 

Red Sox Activate Heath Hembree off Injured List, Option Trevor Kelley to Triple-A Pawtucket

Before taking on the Toronto Blue Jays in the finale of a three-game series on Thursday, the Red Sox reinstated right-handed reliever Heath Hembree from the 10-day injured list. In a corresponding move, right-handed reliever Trevor Kelley was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket. The club made the transaction official earlier Thursday.

Hembree, 30, had been shelved since June 14th due to an extensor strain in his throwing elbow suffered the night before, when the Red Sox went through all their relievers besides the right-hander, and Josh Smith wound up recording his first career save in a 7-6 win over the Texas Rangers on the 13th.

Sent out on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket on July 2nd, Hembree struck out two in a scoreless seventh inning against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. 12 of the 16 pitches he threw Tuesday went for strikes.

On the 2019 season as a whole, the South Carolina native has posted a 2.51 ERA and .189 batting average against through 31 appearances and 28 2/3 innings pitched.

In his last 17 appearances leading to the IL stint, Hembree had only yielded one earned run in his last 15 frames of work dating back to the start of May.

Given the current state of the Red Sox bullpen, Hembree should be a welcomed addition after he missed nearly a month of action.

Kelley, meanwhile, had a big league debut to both forget and remember in the ninth inning of Tuesday’s 10-6 victory over Toronto.

Recalled from the PawSox the day before, the 25-year-old surrendered three earned runs on two hits and a walk before picking up his first career strikeout to secure the four-win victory for his side.

First pitch for the Red Sox Thursday is scheduled for 7:07 PM EDT on NESN.

Rafael Devers Goes Yard Twice, Drives in Six Runs in Four-Hit Night as Red Sox Open up Series Against Blue Jays with 10-6 Victory

After getting swept by the New York Yankees in the first ever London Series over the weekend and an off day on Monday, the Red Sox opened up a three-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays in a monumental way on Tuesday, topping their divisional foes by a final score of 10-6.

Making his 15th start of the season and second against his former club for Boston was David Price, who gave up two unearned runs over five innings in his last Rogers Centre appearance on May 20th.

Tossing six full innings this time around, the left-hander allowed another two runs, both of which were earned, on four hits and a season-high four walks to go along with seven strikeouts on the night.

The first of those two Toronto tallies came in the bottom half of the second, when with two outs and runners on the corners, Danny Jansen drove in his side’s first run on a line-drive RBI double to left off a 2-1 84 MPH changeup.

It could have been worse for Price in that same frame, as he proceeded to load the bases on his third walk of the contest, but he managed to get rookie phenom Vladimir Guerrero Jr. to fly out to center to retire the side.

From there, the Tennessee native stringed together three straight perfect innings before running into more trouble in the bottom of the sixth, which was caused by a leadoff walk of Lourdes Gurriel Jr.

Four batters and two outs later, Freddy Galvis beat out an infield single, plating Gurriel Jr. from third to make it a 7-2 game.

Price rallied by fanning the next and last hitter he faced in Brandon Drury on four straight strikes, and that is how his fine outing came to a close.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 93 (60 strikes), the 33-year-old hurler turned to his two-seam fastball nearly 39% of the time he was on the mound Tuesday, inducing two swings and misses with the pitch. He also got seven whiffs on 26 changeups and topped out at 94.2 MPH with his four-seamer, a pitch he threw 19 times while Christian Vazquez was behind the plate.

Improving to 6-2 while lowering his ERA on the season down to 3.33, Price’s successful run when pitching north of the border continues. He’ll look to build on a positive start to the new month in his next time out, which should come on Sunday against the Detroit Tigers in the final game before the All-Star break.

In relief of Price, Colten Brewer came on in the seventh with a six-run lead to protect, and he let that cushion shrink to five by serving up a leadoff home run to Jansen in an otherwise scoreless inning.

Josh Taylor got the call for the eighth, and the left-hander worked around a one-out single with the help of an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play off the bat of Galvis.

Finally, in the ninth, 25-year-old right-hander Trevor Kelley made his big league debut for Boston after being recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket on Monday, and he surrendered three runs on two hits but held on to secure the 10-6 win with a six-pitch punchout of Justin Smoak, the first of his career.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against Blue Jays rookie right-hander Trent Thornton, who held Boston to just two runs over 6 1/3 innings in his first career start against them back on June 21st.

Starting the scoring right away in the first inning, Rafael Devers got his team on the board by following up a Mookie Betts leadoff single with a two-run, 419-foot shot to right-center field on the very first pitch he saw from Thornton.

A Xander Bogaerts double kept the pressure on the Toronto starter, and Christian Vazquez kicked off a solid night at the plate three batters later by ripping a two-out, opposite field RBI ground-rule double.

Jackie Bradley Jr. made it a 4-0 contest by taking a 1-0 79 MPH slider and lining it to right field for another RBI single to drive in Vazquez, and the Red Sox were in command.

In the second, Bogaerts picked up his first and only RBI of the night by grounding into a force out at second, which gave Betts more than enough time to come in and score from third. 5-0.

An inning later, with two outs and the bases full, Devers added two more runs to his team’s total with another two-run hit, this one a simple single through the right side of the infield, which consequently gave Thornton the early hook. 7-1.

Fast forward all the way to the seventh, and Vazquez struck again, taking new Jays reliever Derek Law deep to left field for his 12th big fly of the season, a two-out, 438-foot booming shot that put the Red Sox up 8-2.

Devers rejoined the home run-hitting frenzy in the top half of the eighth, making right-hander Joe Biagini pay for walking Betts on four straight balls the at-bat prior by launching another two-run shot deep to the opposite field, this one, his 14th of the year, had a projected exit velocity of 100.5 MPH and traveled 381 feet.

That gave Boston a 10-3 advantage, and after the Jays made some noise of their own in the ninth, 10-6 would go on to be Tuesday’s final score.

Some notes from this win:

Rafael Devers’ Tuesday night: 4-for-5 with two home runs and six RBI to tie a career-high. Here are the exit velocities for all of Devers’ batted balls:

raffy

In his last 15 games, the 22-year-old is slashing .468/.484/.823 with five homers and 13 RBI.

With a 2-for-5 performance on Tuesday, Jackie Bradley Jr. is up to a .239 batting average and .751 OPS. Those are pretty respectable numbers for someone who was slashing .190/.286/.315 at this time a month ago.

From MassLive.com’s Christopher Smith:

From Red Sox Notes:

Next up for the Red Sox, it’s the middle game of this three-game set on Wednesday.

Left-hander Chris Sale will get the ball for Boston, while another rookie right-hander in the form of Jacob Waguespack will do the same for Toronto.

After allowing just one unearned run in his first two June starts, Sale finished the month by posting a 5.29 ERA over his last three, including a five inning performance against the Jays in which he surrendered four runs (three earned) on seven hits and two walks.

In nine prior outings (eight starts) at Rogers Centre, Sale owns a lifetime 1.60 ERA to go along with a .161 batting average against over 62 total innings of work.

Waguespack, meanwhile, will be activated from the 10-day injured list for Toronto on Wednesday.

The 25-year-old only has one previous big league outing under his belt back on May 27th, when he yielded three runs (two earned) over four innings of relief in an 8-3 loss at the hands of the Tampa Bay Rays.

First pitch Wednesday is scheduled for 7:07 PM EDT on NESN. Red Sox going for their second straight win.

 

 

Red Sox Call up Trevor Kelley from Triple-A Pawtucket, Option Mike Shawaryn in Slew of Roster Moves

UPDATE: Catcher Oscar Hernandez was designated for assignment in order to make room for Kelley on Boston’s 40-man roster. He’ll probably clear waivers.

Before kicking off a three-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday, the Red Sox recalled right-hander Trevor Kelley from Triple-A Pawtucket. In a corresponding move, right-hander Mike Shawaryn was optioned back down to the PawSox, while first baseman/outfielder Sam Travis was returned there after serving as Boston’s 26th man during the London Series over the weekend.

Steve Pearce was also recalled from his rehab assignment after suffering a setback, while Tzu-Wei Lin was activated from the 10-day injured list and optioned to Pawtucket. The club made the transactions official earlier Monday.

Kelley, 25, was drafted by Boston in the 36th round of the 2015 amateur draft out of the University of North Carolina.

Beginning the 2019 season with Triple-A Pawtucket, the Rhode Island native has posted 0.96 ERA and .204 batting average against through 28 appearances and 37 2/3 innings pitched this year.

Since May 16th, Kelley has only allowed one run over his last 16 outings and 21 1/3 frames of work.

Known for his sidearm delivery, Kelley features an 86-88 MPH fastball that tops out at 89 MPH and a 75-77 MPH slider, according to SoxProspects.com

Per FanGraphs, Kelley owns a FIP of 3.69 and an xFIP of 5.82 with the PawSox so far, and has averaged nearly four walks per nine innings this season, meaning he, as Red Sox Stats puts it, “puts men on base, isn’t a strikeout or swing and miss guy, and is an extreme air ball pitcher.”

As mentioned earlier, Mike Shawaryn was optioned to make room for Kelley on Boston’s 25-man roster.

The 24-year-old out of the University of Maryland began his big league career on a high note after being recalled from Pawtucket on May 30th, as he yielded just one earned run on four hits and five walks over his first six appearances and 10 innings pitched.

Over his last two outings though, it’s been a much different story for the right-hander, surrendering 11 runs, all earned, on nine hits and two walks since June 22nd. Eight of those runs came in this past Saturday’s loss to the New York Yankees.

Given that he was used as a reliever in his first stint with the Sox, it will be interesting to see if Shawaryn maintains that role or goes back to being a starter in Pawtucket.

As for the injury-related side of this news, Steve Pearce was supposed to be activated from the injured list for this upcoming series in Toronto, but was instead returned from his rehab assignment after suffering a setback in the rehab process, which was most likely caused by knee pain, a source says.

Pearce, 36, was placed on the 10-day IL with a lower back strain on June 1st and began that now-cancelled rehab assignment on the 14th. The 2018 World Series MVP has not appeared in a game for Boston since May 31st.

Lastly, Tzu-Wei Lin was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket after completing a rehab assignment with them that lasted five games.

The 25-year-old utility man has missed considerable time this year due to a left knee sprain suffered back in May against the Chicago White Sox, and is slashing .286/.357/.381 with no home runs and eight RBI through 17 games with the PawSox this season.