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Wednesday’s Red Sox-Braves matchups: Joe Kelly vs. Alex Wood

06.17.15 at 8:27 am ET
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Joe Kelly

Joe Kelly

As their series with the Braves shifts to Atlanta, the Red Sox will send the fast-improving Joe Kelly to the mound against left-hander Alex Wood.

Kelly may have predicted a Cy Young in 2015, but instead he’s well on his way to the worst season of his young career. The 27-year-old is 2-4 with a 5.45 ERA, the fifth-worst mark among qualified AL starters.

Although he has struggled on the campaign, Kelly has begun to turn his season around of late. Over his last three outings, Kelly owns a modest 3.18 ERA and 12 strikeouts in 17 innings. Despite two Red Sox losses in those three games, Kelly is showing promise, as he has overcome an astronomical 34 percent line drive rate to lower his ERA by 0.79 over a two-week stretch.

In his last start Friday against the Blue Jays, Kelly reverted to his old ways, hurling six innings and giving up four runs. However, regardless of his performance, Kelly did enough to win as he left the game with the Red Sox up 8-4. The bullpen proceeded to cough up the lead and the game as the Blue Jays put up a nine-run seventh en route to the 13-10 victory and a no-decision for Kelly.

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Wednesday Red Sox Farm Report: Justin Masterson has quality start; Pat Light perfect in Triple-A; Manuel Margot reaches base four times

06.17.15 at 8:22 am ET
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A look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Tuesday:

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (32-33): L, 2-0, at Charlotte (White Sox)

Justin Masterson made his fourth rehab start (right shoulder inflammation) and produced his second consecutive quality start: 6 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 4 SO (89 pitches, 54 strikes). Masterson had a wild pitch to go with his three free passes. The sinkerballer incurred nine ground outs to four in the air. Charlotte strung three singles together to get a run off Masterson in the second inning, and another in the sixth after a walk, two stolen bases and an RBI double.

— The PawSox offense struck out a combined 18 times against three Charlotte pitchers, while also leaving 11 runners on base in the shutout defeat. Jackie Bradley Jr. had Pawtucket’€™s only extra-base hit, a double in the ninth. However, Bradley whiffed three times, as did Garin Cecchini, Deven Marrero and Sean Coyle.

— RHP Matt Barnes reported from Boston and pitched a scoreless seventh inning, allowing a leadoff double but recovering with back-to-back strikeouts to end the frame. Barnes allowed the go-ahead home run on Saturday in Boston to Toronto’€™s Russell Martin, the day after allowing the first three hits in what would become a nine-run Blue Jays inning on Friday night.

— RHP Pat Light has retired all nine batters he has faced in Triple-A, pitching a scoreless eighth and adding a strikeout to his season-long coffers of now 36 in 32 2/3 innings. Light’€™s K came on a 3-2 offspeed pitch after a steady dose of fastballs, and he finished out the inning by inducing two weak grounders. Light has produced scoreless outings in 18 of his last 20 appearances. His season WHIP is 0.89, with an opposing batting average of .155.

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Read More: justin masterson, manuel margot, michael chavis, pat light

Red Sox offense gets jolt from Brock Holt as utility man hits for cycle in win

06.16.15 at 8:32 pm ET
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Wheaties is normally the Breakfast of Champions, but Tuesday for Brock Holt it was Frosted Mini Wheats.

Going against the norm, Holt had Frosted Mini Wheats for breakfast and it paid off as the utility man hit for the first Red Sox cycle in almost 20 years, as the Red Sox beat the Braves, 9-4, at Fenway Park, snapping a seven-game losing streak.

For Holt it was his first career cycle at any level and the first Red Sox cycle since John Valentin on June 6, 1996. It was the 20th in Red Sox history.

Holt came to the plate in the bottom of the eighth, with the Sox leading 8-2, needing a triple for the cycle. The lefty drove a Sugar Ray Marimon offering over center fielder Cameron Maybin’s head and kept on running before he stopped standing on third base with the entire Red Sox dugout on the top step pumped for what their teammate just did.

“Obviously I knew that I needed a triple,” Holt said. “Didn’t expect to hit one, but as soon as barrel hit ball, I was, ‘Oh my God, Oh my God, Oh my god,’ cause once it gets in the triangle anything is possible. Just running, on my horses and it worked out.”

With the Red Sox leading 9-2, Holt was able to soak in the moment with third base coach Brian Butterfield.

“I was like, ‘This is pretty cool,’ ” Holt said. “[Butterfield] kind of came up to me and said, ‘This is pretty cool.’ I tried to soak it all in. Looked in my dugout and my teammates were all pretty pumped at the top step. Like I said, pretty special to do this and to get the win is the biggest thing. Something I’ll remember for awhile.”

“That was a goosebump moment for me,” Butterfield added. “He’€™s so humble and he kept his poise. I just looked up and said, ‘€˜That was really cool.’€™ He looked over and said, ‘€˜That was cool.’ €™”

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Dustin Pedroia: ‘I’ll be in there in the next couple of days’

06.16.15 at 7:54 pm ET
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Following his team’s 9-4 win over the Braves Tuesday afternoon, Red Sox manager John Farrell passed along that tests revealed no structural damage to his left knee and that he should be back in the lineup shortly.

Pedroia, who injured the knee when attempting to execute a double play in the fifth inning against the Blue Jays Sunday afternoon, didn’t do much to elaborate on his timetable after Tuesday’s win.

“I’ll be in there in the next couple of days,” he noted.

Farrell also suggested Ramirez, who sat out of Tuesday’s game with a sore mid-back, would be available for the opening game of the Sox’ two-game set in Atlanta.

“Both are day to day,” the manager said. “I would expect that Hanley would be available for sure tomorrow after going through a full day of treatment for his back. Nothing structurally was defined with the images that Pedey underwent before the game. He’€™s dealing with some inflammation. He’€™s dealing with a little bit of fluid and hopefully in a day or two he’€™s back in the lineup.”

Without the pair, the Red Sox still managed 18 hits against the Braves. Coming into the series finale, Pedroia had been one of the Red Sox’ hottest hitters, hitting .397 with a 1.005 OPS in 14 games this month.

Closing Time: Brock Holt hits for cycle in Red Sox win over Braves to snap 7-game losing streak

06.16.15 at 6:43 pm ET
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Brock Holt scored two runs and recorded three hits to lead the Red Sox over the Braves, snapping their seven-game losing skid. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Brock Holt hit for the cycle to lead the Red Sox over the Braves, snapping their seven-game losing skid. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

So, that’s what winning feels like.

After losing seven straight games with their last win coming nine days ago, the Red Sox finally were able to get back in the win column with a 9-4 win over the Braves at Fenway Park Tuesday afternoon.

The offense was led by Brock Holt who hit for the cycle, the first Red Sox cycle since John Valentin on June 6, 1996.

“Yeah, big day at the plate,” manager John Farrell said. “He’s been in a good run here of late in the two-hole and today obviously in the leadoff spot where he’s getting on-base multiple times. Really squared up some balls today. It goes without saying, anytime a guy hits for the cycle he’s had a stellar day, and that was a day for Brock.”

The Red Sox have now won six of their last seven games against the Braves. Their 18 hits were by far a season high (nine-inning game). The 18 hits tied what they totaled in the 18-inning win over the Yankees.

With the game knotted at two in the bottom of the sixth, the Red Sox scored three times to break the game open and snap the losing skid.

Mookie Betts started the inning off with a triple to left-center. After David Ortiz lined out sharply to second, Xander Bogaerts’ chopper over the mound was barely enough to get Betts home, although he was thrown out trying to advance to second on the throw home. They scored two more in the inning, as Pablo Sandoval lined a single off the Monster and Mike Napoli doubled, setting up second and third with two outs for Alejandro De Aza, who lined an opposite field double to give the Red Sox two insurance runs.

Following his blowup in the dugout during his last start in Baltimore, Wade Miley responded with a quality start, going 6 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on five hits while walking two and striking out a season-high eight batters.

Miley has now won four straight starts at Fenway Park and evened up his record at 6-6.

The left-hander was removed from the game after 111 pitches and with runners on first and second in the seventh inning. Junichi Tazawa entered and retired the next two batters in order to get out of the jam.

“Like I said, I put it behind me,” Miley said of the dugout incident. “So not necessarily going to motivate me or anything like that. My goal going into today is to just give the team a chance to win and every start that’s what I try to do. I try to go out there and keep them from scoring more runs than we do. So that was the goal.”

Koji Uehara allowed two runs on the ninth inning. He’s allowed runs in four of his 24 outings this year.

The Red Sox wasted no time scoring, as they scored their first run of the game on the fifth pitch they saw from Braves starter Julio Teheran, as Holt and Betts hit back-to-back doubles. They scored their second run with the bases loaded and no outs when Pablo Sandoval hit into a double play, scoring Betts.

Teheran finished allowing six runs on 13 hits in 6 1/3 innings.

Holt also homered in the seventh inning, which extended the Red Sox’ streak of hitting a home run in seven straight games. De Aza added another RBI with a triple in the eighth, scoring Sandoval. Rusney Castillo snapped an 0-for-11 skid with an RBI single later in the inning and Holt then ripped a triple to finish off the cycle scoring another.

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Commissioner Rob Manfred discusses Red Sox strike zone issues, fan safety, DraftKings

06.16.15 at 4:58 pm ET
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Commissioner Rob Manfred addresses the media at Fenway Park on Tuesday. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Commissioner Rob Manfred addressed the media at Fenway Park on Tuesday. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Commissioner Rob Manfred had a message for Red Sox hitters Tuesday: The league isn’t out to get them.

Making a regularly scheduled stop in Boston as part of a tour of big league cities, Manfred addressed Red Sox players and was asked about the widening strike zone.

“This issue came up in the Red Sox clubhouse today,” Manfred said. “I’ll tell you what I told them. There has been absolutely no direction to umpires to expand the strike zone, or to expand in conjunction with the pace of game effort. Our sole and exclusive focus with respect to the strike zone has been to make sure we’re calling the rulebook strike as closely as possible and as on uniform a basis as possible across umpires.”

Manfred touched on a number of other topics as well.

On the increased use of netting to protect fans in the wake of the horrifying injury suffered at Fenway Park recently by Tonya Carpenter: “We have been focused on a variety of remedies that could be used to address this problem. They include things like additional bat regulations, wrapping of bats, increased netting. I think it’s important as we move forward with this that we keep all the available options on the table and make the best decision to make sure that our fans are as safe as possible.”

On the importance of daily fantasy sports sites like DraftKings to grow the interest of the sport: “I think some great man once said people have voted with their feet on this one. I think fantasy sports, daily games, are a really important part of fan engagement. It’s one of the reasons we were so interested in expanding our relationship with DraftKings. It’s another way for fans to be interested in the game on a daily basis, and I think it’s an important issue for us going forward.

“Look, the federal government defined what’s fantasy and what’s gambling. We spent, believe me, a lot of time and effort analyzing the games on the DraftKings site with our own internal staff and outside experts, and we were comfortable with the idea that they were fantasy games within the definition of federal law.”

On the story that broke Tuesday alleging the Cardinals hacked the computers of the Astros: “What has been reported, and we knew about it well in advance of the report is there is an ongoing investigation with respect to an unauthorized entry into Houston’s system. To use, to assume that investigation is going to produce a particular result with respect to the Cardinals, let alone to jump to a word like cyber attack, we don’t know that those are the facts yet. There is an ongoing investigation. We’ve been fully cooperative. Obviously any allegation like this, no matter how serious it turns out to be, is of great concern to us but it’s just too early to speculate on what the facts are going to turn out to be and what action, if any, is necessary.”

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Red Sox notes: Dustin Pedroia, Hanley Ramirez sit with physical issues

06.16.15 at 1:57 pm ET
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Both Dustin Pedroia and Hanley Ramirez started Tuesday’s game against the Braves on the bench, with physical issues plaguing both players.

Prior to the series finale, Red Sox manager John Farrell said that Pedroia was sitting out due to left knee soreness. The ailment stemmed from a takeout slide at second base during Sunday’s loss to the Blue Jays.

“Pedey’s got some left knee soreness that stems from a collision at second base a couple of days ago,” Farrell said. “There’s a little bit of fluid buildup in there. We’re taking precautions with him. Hanley aggravated his mid-back last night with a swing early in the game and it continued to persist throughout the night and needs a day down.”

When asked about the particular incident that injured Pedroia — which is believed to happen in the fifth inning against the Blue Jays — Farrell said it didn’t appear serious at the time

“Yeah it was a slide into second base that he received the throw,” the manager said. “It wasn’t a major collision. A little bit of an awkward spot as we’ve even gone back to review the video of it. Felt a little different in it yesterday but played. Coming in today, felt it was best to continue to receive treatment throughout the day today.”

Pedroia has been the Red Sox‘ hottest hitter, most recently going 2-for-3 with a walk in his team’s 4-2 loss to the Braves Monday night. For June, the second baseman is hitting .397 with a 1.005 OPS in 14 games.

Ramirez is out after aggravating his mid-back on a swing Monday night.

Farrell also noted that Shane Victorino (calf) could be on the verge of making a rehab assignment following the Sox’ upcoming two-game set in Atlanta. Nothing has been scheduled, with the timetable dependent on how the outfielder comes through the next two days of tests.

Joe Kelly on MFB: New pitching coach Carl Willis ‘focused on what your strengths are as a pitcher’

06.16.15 at 12:48 pm ET
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Joe Kelly

Joe Kelly

Red Sox starting pitcher Joe Kelly joined Middays with MFB on Tuesday to discuss the team’s struggles, his own pitching adjustments and his work with NIVEA Men. To hear the interview, go to the Middays with MFB audio on demand page.

Kelly talked about the difference in style between ex-pitching coach Juan Nieves, who was fired last month, and current coach Carl Willis.

“Juan was a great guy. He was a good pitching coach,” Kelly said. “He was more focused on scouting reports — what the hitters don’t hit, what this guy does against the slider, what do you do in certain situations. Carl’s been awesome too. He’s mainly focused on what your strengths are as a pitcher. If you’re a sinker guy, you’re not going to go out and throw four-seams at a team and try to beat them that way. He tries to focus on that other aspect of your game.”

Kelly was asked about Adam Wainwright from his time in St. Louis and what type of leader he was. On top of how great he was in St. Louis, he said even this year he sent him video to help him with his mechanics when he was struggling.

“[Wainwright] was the best,” Kelly said. “He’s an on-field pitching coach. It was pretty neat to be a part of. Whenever I struggled or messed up with mechanics, he was always the first one there to help me. Even earlier this year, I gave up 21 runs in 21 innings and he saw a bunch of stuff wrong with mechanics and sent me over a couple of video clips and talked to me on the phone. He helped out a little bit right then and there to get me back on track.”

When asked about his struggles, Kelly discussed his continued role as a student of the game, both about himself and opposing hitters.

“I haven’t had a full year as a starting pitcher in the big leagues,” he said. “So I’m just learning hitters and learning my stuff. Guys with velocity [can be] very easy to hit. I hit a double off of [Jeff] Samardzija at 98. I can do that stuff — it’s not very hard actually. It’s just different kinds of mixes of pitches and locations. It’s more about hitting spots and trying to locate with the fastball.”

With talk of Kelly moving to the bullpen as the Red Sox moved away from a six-man rotation, he talked about his stance on the switch.

“I love starting. I love knowing when I’m gonna pitch,” Kelly said. “That’s where I am right now and that’s where my main focus is. One day, eventually, if that happens in my career, of course I’m going to stay in the game and help get guys out and perform for my team.”

As Red Sox slog through a seven-game losing streak, Kelly was asked if manager John Farrell has lost control of the team.

“No, obviously John has all the control,” Kelly said. “As a player, it’s just getting frustrated about how everything’s been going. As a team we’re not playing well and sometimes that gets the best of us. You’ve been trained your whole life to beat the other person, to always win and to always give your best no matter what. So when someone puts it into your game, whether you’re doing good or bad, you’re going to be mad always.”

Following are more highlights from the interview. For more Red Sox news, visit the team page at weei.com/redsox.

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Read More: Adam Wainwright, Boston Red Sox, Dustin Pedroia, Joe Kelly

Red Sox lineup: Dustin Pedroia, Hanley Ramirez out vs. Braves

06.16.15 at 12:34 pm ET
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The Red Sox will be without two of their best hitters Tuesday afternoon as Dustin Pedroia and Hanley Ramirez will sit against the Braves and right-hander Julio Teheran.

Brock Holt will bat leadoff and get the start at second base, while Alejandro De Aza will start in left field. Xander Bogaerts will hit cleanup.

Blake Swihart will catch Red Sox starter Wade Miley as the Red Sox look to snap a seven-game losing streak.

For a complete look at the matchups, click here.

Here is the complete Red Sox lineup:

Brock Holt, 2B
Mookie Betts, CF
David Ortiz, DH
Xander Bogaerts, SS
Pablo Sandoval, 3B
Mike Napoli, 1B
Alejandro De Aza, LF
Blake Swihart, C
Rusney Castillo, RF
Wade Miley, LHP

Read More: Dustin Pedroia, hanley ramirez,

Tuesday Red Sox Farm Report: Justin Masterson set to make another rehab start for Pawtucket; Yoan Moncada reaches base 3 times

06.16.15 at 8:23 am ET
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A look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Monday:

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX (32-32): Scheduled off day. Next action Tuesday at Charlotte (White Sox)

Justin Masterson will make his fourth rehab start for Pawtucket (one with Double-A Portland) Tuesday after landing on the DL with right shoulder tendinitis. Masterson has pitched 12 1/3 innings over his three previous rehab starts and is 0-1 with a 3.65 ERA.

DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS (25-38): Scheduled off day. Next action Tuesday vs. Binghamton (Mets)

Teddy Stankiewicz

Teddy Stankiewicz

HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX (33-30): L, 4-1, at Wilmington (Royals)

— Right-hander Teddy Stankiewicz fell to 1-8 on the season, taking the loss after allowing three runs — two earned — on nine hits with one strikeout. The 21-year-old 2013 second-round pick has a 3.97 ERA in 12 starts for Salem.

— Righty Chandler Shepherd pitched the seventh and eighth innings and gave up one earned run on two hits and two walks. He also struck out two and now has 15 strikeouts in 16 2/3 innings over seven appearances with Salem this season. Shepherd has an 0-1 record and a 5.40 ERA.

— First baseman Sam Travis scored the only Salem run Monday, crossing the plate in the seventh inning on a sacrifice fly by Wendell Rijo after singling to center to lead off the inning. Travis finished the day 1-for-4, but has hit safely in eight of his last 10 games and is hitting .405 over that span. For the season, the 21-year-old is leading the team with a .309 average and has drove in a team-high 34 RBIs.

— Wilmington’€™s Ramon Torres hit a two-run double off Stankiewicz with one down in the third, ending a streak of 25 1/3 scoreless innings by Salem pitchers.

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