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Red Sox notes: Joe Kelly examined in Boston; Mookie Betts to try right field

09.16.15 at 6:20 pm ET
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Joe Kelly

Joe Kelly

BALTIMORE — No matter how minor the Red Sox might believe Joe Kelly’s shoulder stiffness is, they weren’t going to take any chances.

The team sent the pitcher back to Boston Wednesday in order to have his pitching shoulder examined after Kelly was forced to exit his start Tuesday in the third inning due to his discomfort.

“He flew back this morning so he’€™s probably getting examined right now as we speak,” said Red Sox interim manager Torey Lovullo prior to his team’s series finale against the Orioles at Camden Yards.

When asked about Kelly consistently flexing his arm throughout his recent run of starts, Lovullo noted. “He’€™s been doing that now for probably two or three starts. It’€™s just a way of him to get loose, his back back gets tight. He’€™s a very wiry athlete, so anything he’€™s doing to relax a muscle — we’€™re not exactly sure what that meant. We saw a little bit more of that yesterday and then the comments during the second inning raised some red flags.”

Kelly, who has also sporadically battled the biceps soreness that sidelined him at the start of the season, had been on one of the best runs of his young career. Entering Tuesday night, he was 8-0 with a 2.59 ERA since Aug. 1.

“We just want to make sure we find out if anything is happening there,” Lovullo said. “Obviously he left the game [Tuesday] and was unable to get loose completely. It made a lot of sense to get him up there and out of there.”

– The Red Sox are going to be trying a little something different with Mookie Betts, who will start in right field when the Red Sox play the Blue Jays in Toronto over the coming weekend.

It will be the first time this season Betts has player another position other than center field, having played right field 12 times in 2014.

Jackie Bradley Jr. will play center field, with Rusney Castillo starting in left field, in the new alignment.

“We all know Jackie is comfortable in center,” Lovullo said. “Jackie is comfortable no matter where you put him. We’€™re probably looking at Mookie’€™s first steps, Mookie’€™s coverage. His reads. It’€™s more about Mookie in the situation of being a right fielder than it is Jackie being a center fielder. We feel fine about arm strength. Everybody is concerned about the right fielder’€™s arm strength. We know that Mookie has really improved in that area. That’€™s not really going to be an issue for me. I think it’€™s mostly about his first-step reads and gaining ground on the ball. And you can see what he’€™s doing in center field. We look for that to be the same in right field.”

– Instead of flying to Toronto immediately after Wednesday night’s game, the Red Sox were scheduled to stay over int the Charm City and fly out midday Thursday.

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Red Sox lineup: Xander Bogaerts, Mookie Betts get night off, Jackie Bradley to play center

09.16.15 at 3:19 pm ET
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Fresh off Tuesday night’s marathon 13-inning loss to the Orioles, the Red Sox are giving a couple of regulars a day of rest.

Center fielder Mookie Betts and shortstop Xander Bogaerts will take a seat, with Jackie Bradley sliding over to center field. Rookie Deven Marrero will make the third start of his career at shortstop in place of Bogaerts.

Bogaerts has played in all but five games this season, while Betts has appeared in 128 of 144 games this year.

Here’s the rest of the lineup, in support of young left-hander Henry Owens:

Brock Holt RF
Pablo Sandoval 3B
Dustin Pedroia 2B
David Ortiz DH
Travis Shaw 1B
Rusney Castillo LF
Blake Swihart C
Jackie Bradley CF
Deven Marrero SS

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Wednesday’s Red Sox-Orioles matchups: Henry Owens vs. Mike Wright

09.16.15 at 12:58 pm ET
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Henry Owens

Henry Owens

Coming off two tough losses to the Orioles, the Red Sox close out their series in Baltimore on Wednesday night when they send Henry Owens to the mound against fellow 6-foot-6 rookie Mike Wright.

Owens (2-2, 5.25 ERA) last pitched Tuesday against the Blue Jays, going 5 1/3 innings and allowing one run on three hits with four walks and two hit batsman. He did not factor into the decision.

The left-hander blamed issues coming out of his windup for his wildness.

“I think out of the stretch I felt in command of most at-bats. … There’s some refinement I still need to do with my mechanics out of a windup, which beging tomorrow,” he said after the game.

Owens has made seven starts since getting called up from Triple-A Pawtucket on Aug. 4. In five of those starts he has allowed a combined seven runs, but two rough outings — seven runs against the Mariners and Yankees — have ballooned his ERA. He has not yet faced the Orioles.

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Red Sox shut down reliever Junichi Tazawa for rest of season

09.16.15 at 12:01 am ET
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Junichi Tazawa

Junichi Tazawa

The Red Sox have shut down reliever Junichi Tazawa, who has shown the strain of a heavy cumulative workload over the last three years, but insist he is not injured.

Interim manager Torey Lovullo made the announcement after the Red Sox lost 6-5 to the Orioles in 13 innings on Tuesday. He said the decision was made shortly before the game.

“I want to make this perfectly clear,” Lovullo said. “There is no injury. There is nothing behind this other than us giving him a rest.”

Tazawa is 2-7 with a 4.14 ERA, his worst since becoming a full-time reliever in 2012. Most of the damage has come since the All-Star break. Tazawa is 1-3 with a 5.85 ERA and five blown saves in the second half. Over his final eight appearances, he posted a 12.15 ERA and allowed opponents to hit .500 against him.

After making 71 appearances in each of the prior two seasons, he was shut down with 61 this year.

“Taz has been a warrior over the last three years,” Lovullo said. “Over 70 appearances for two consecutive seasons, and he was on pace for that this year. It was just our way to pay him back. You know what — get a jumpstart on the offseason, recuperate, get strong and focus on 2016.”

(Rob Bradford contributed to this report from Baltimore)

Closing Time: Joe Kelly injured; Orioles outlast Red Sox, 6-5, in 13 innings

09.15.15 at 11:30 pm ET
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Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts found himself in-between on this swing. (Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts found himself in-between on this swing. (Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

Joe Kelly’s momentum came crashing to a halt early. It took the Red Sox quite a bit longer to fall.

One of baseball’s hottest pitchers didn’t make it out of the third inning against the Orioles on Tuesday night because of injury. Kelly lasted just 53 pitches before leaving with shoulder fatigue in the third.

The Red Sox lasted 13 innings before Chris Davis‘s single lifted Baltimore to a 6-5 victory.

Kelly, who sought his ninth straight victory, didn’t look like the same pitcher who had dominated since the start of August. His first two fastballs of the night were only 89 and 90 mph, and he lacked command, especially in the third, when he allowed five hits in a span of six batters, including a two-run homer from Steve Pearce, before leaving the mound with a trainer.

“He just couldn’t get loose and it was something that didn’t get better for the couple innings that we sent him out there,” said interim manager Torey Lovullo. “We just decided it was the best thing to do that we pull him out and reevaluate him tomorrow. It was just some shoulder fatigue. He felt like he couldn’t get extended and get loose.”

“No there was no one pitch or anything,” said Kelly, who didn’t think an MRI would be necessary Wednesday. “Warming up in the bullpen I felt tight. Something that usually goes away and it didn’€™t go away throughout my warm up pitches, throughout my first inning, throughout the second inning, tried going the third inning — like I said I just couldn’€™t get through anything on my fastball, my shoulder was restricted and I felt tight.”

The pitcher added, “I wanted to stay in that game as long as I could but the shoulder and the arm just weren’€™t letting me be. Just a lot of inconsistent firing. Just was super tight. I tried to let go a fastball here and it’€™d be 88, I tried to let go a fastball again and it’€™d be 94, let go a fastball and it’€™d be 92. Just a lot of inconsistencies. They saw that and decided it’€™d be best for us to go out of the game with a little tightness and fatigue.”

That could’ve been the end of the Red Sox, particularly after the Orioles pushed their lead to 4-1, but since the club went young in August, it has demonstrated better resilience than the team that opened the season with a rapid descent into last place.

The Red Sox tied things with three in the fifth. Mookie Betts opened with a single and took third on Dustin Pedroia‘s double. Xander Bogaerts plated one run with a single, and David Ortiz drove in another with a sacrifice fly. It looked like the Red Sox would do more than tie the game when Pablo Sandoval drove one to left, but after admiring his drive at the plate before it struck the base of the wall, he was erased at second on replay.

The Orioles reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the frame on a Manny Machado homer, but Travis Shaw answered with a homer of his own in the eighth to knot things at 5-5.

The Red Sox bullpen was particularly impressive in relief of Kelly, retiring 17 of the first 18 hitters it faced after he departed.

In extra innings, neither team really threatened until the winning rally. Bogaerts made sure the game went to extra frames with one of his best defensive plays of the season to erase Matt Wieters in the ninth with a sidearm flip from deep in the hole.

The Orioles won it after reliever Jonathan Aro walked leadoff man Gerardo Parra and Manny Machado singled to center. Robbie Ross entered and promptly allowed Davis’s soft liner to right past a drawn-in infield to end it.

(Rob Bradford contributed to this report from Baltimore)

Red Sox starter Joe Kelly leaves game with right shoulder tightness

09.15.15 at 8:42 pm ET
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Joe Kelly

Joe Kelly

Joe Kelly will not win a ninth straight start.

The Red Sox right-hander, one of the hottest pitchers in baseball since the start of August, was removed in the third inning against the Orioles in Baltimore on Tuesday with right shoulder tightness and fatigue.

Kelly had allowed hits to five of the six batters he faced in the frame, including a two-run homer to Steve Pearce. He threw just 53 pitches and didn’t quite have his usual fastball life, working in the low-90s instead of the mid- to upper-90s.

Kelly left the mound with a trainer after allowing a single to Adam Jones. He is expected to undergo further examination. The Red Sox are already utilizing a six-man rotation to ease the workload on rookie Eduardo Rodriguez. It’s unclear what Kelly’s injury could mean for that plan.

(Rob Bradford contributed to this report from Baltimore.)

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Sources: Mike Hazen interviews with Angels, perhaps another team

09.15.15 at 6:02 pm ET
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Mike Hazen

Mike Hazen

BALTIMORE — While he awaits his fate with the Red Sox, assistant general manager Mike Hazen is at least exploring other opportunities.

According to multiple major league sources, Hazen has interviewed with the Angels for their general manager job. Bill Stoneman is currently acting as Los Angeles’ GM after having taken over for Jerry DiPoto.

One source said that there is a very good possibility Hazen will soon be interviewing with another big league club for a GM job. Other teams needing to fill the position are Philadelphia and Seattle, along with the Red Sox.

Hazen is still considered a candidate to remain with the Sox, working under president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski.

Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times was first to report Hazen’s interview with the Angels. DiGiovanna reports that five others candidates have also interviewed with LA.

Dustin Pedroia returns to lineup as Red Sox face Orioles with Joe Kelly seeking ninth straight win

09.15.15 at 3:36 pm ET
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The Red Sox haven’t lost two straight since the first two days of September, and they’ll look to extend that streak on Tuesday when they face the Orioles in Baltimore.

Second baseman Dustin Pedroia returns to the starting lineup after a day off. Since rejoining the team on Sept. 8 following a hamstring injury, Pedroia has stuck to a schedule of two days on, one day off.

The Red Sox dropped a 2-0 decision in the series opener on Monday, and they’ll look to get the bats going tonight against Ubaldo Jimenez. On the mound, right-hander Joe Kelly seeks his ninth straight win. Here’s the lineup:

Mookie Betts CF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Travis Shaw 1B
Pablo Sandoval 3B
Rusney Castillo LF
Ryan Hanigan C
Jackie Bradley RF

Fenway Park to host AIG Fenway Hurling Classic, Irish Festival on November 22

09.15.15 at 11:03 am ET
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November is turning out to be Irish month at Fenway Park.

Following the Boston College Eagles taking on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in football Nov. 21 at Fenway, the next day the park will host the AIG Fenway Hurling Classic and Irish Festival, as 2015 All-Ireland finalist Galway will take on Dublin in an exhibition comprising some of the top hurling players from the Emerald Isle.

“Hurling is one of the most electrifying sports in the world and we think fans are going to enjoy watching all the fast-paced action as two of the most accomplished and talented teams compete right here on the pitch at Fenway Park,” said Fenway Sports Management president Sam Kennedy in a press release. “€œWe are always looking for opportunities to bring new and exciting events into Fenway and whether you’€™re a fan of hurling or new to the sport the AIG Fenway Hurling Classic and Irish Festival promises to be a great event.”

“Boston and Ireland have such a strong connection and it is thrilling to see one of the country’€™s native games will be played on our city’€™s most beloved ball park,” added Boston Mayor Marty Walsh. “€œHurling is among the most exhilarating games played in the world and our city is proud to host one of Ireland’€™s most traditional sports.”

For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.

Tuesday’s Red Sox-Orioles matchups: Joe Kelly vs. Ubaldo Jimenez

09.15.15 at 8:17 am ET
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Joe Kelly

Joe Kelly

Red-hot right-hander Joe Kelly squares off against Orioles righty Ubaldo Jimenez on Tuesday night in the middle game of the Red Sox‘ series in Baltimore.

Kelly (10-6, 4.70 ERA) has continued his dominance from August into September, going 2-0 with a 2.31 ERA in two starts this month. Kelly has won eight straight starts and will look to become the first Sox pitcher to win nine straight starts since Pedro Martinez in his incredible 1999 campaign. In Kelly’s last start on Wednesday against the Blue Jays in Toronto, he went 5 2/3 innings, allowing one run on six hits and a walk with five strikeouts.

“We’re playing really, really great defense, and obviously the hitters are crushing the ball,” Kelly said after the game. “It’s fun to watch when all around the team is doing great. It’s fun to be out there, especially when we’ve got guys playing their butts off, making diving plays, throwing people out. It gets me fired up out there and it’s fun to be a part of.”

Kelly has faced Jimenez twice already this season. On June 23 he allowed five runs on eight hits and two walks in 3 2/3 innings of the Red Sox‘ 6-4 loss at Fenway Park. On April 17 he went 5 2/3 innings, surrendering two runs on four hits and two walks with three strikeouts in a game the Red Sox won 3-2 on Xander Bogaerts’ walkoff hit in the ninth inning.

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