Sunday’s Red Sox-Astros matchups: Joe Kelly vs. Collin McHugh
|08.17.14 at 8:13 am ET|
The Red Sox will close out a four-game series at home against the Astros Sunday, sending Joe Kelly to the mound against Collin McHugh.
After pitching on the road during his first two starts with the Red Sox, Kelly (0-0, 2.08 ERA) will be making his first career start at Fenway Park. It will also stand as the first time this season that the 26-year-old righty faces off against an American League opponent.
“I’m excited to pitch in front of the home crowd and see how the mound is and the surroundings,” Kelly said. “I’m definitely excited to get out there for my first start.”
Kelly was solid in his last start Tuesday against the Reds, allowing two runs on five hits while striking out four over six innings of work en route to a 3-2 Red Sox victory.
“I thought he had very good stuff tonight, better stuff tonight than his first start in St. Louis,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell after the game. “He might’ve pitched a little bit fine early on, the two walks came back to haunt him, but I thought he settled in well and really got into a good rhythm. He has three-plus pitches for strikes tonight with very good fastball velocity.”
Kelly has been impressive since being traded to Boston on July 31, allowing just three runs over 13 innings of work in two starts with the Red Sox.
In two career relief appearances against the Astros, Kelly surrendered two hits and no runs while striking out two in 1 1/3 innings.
McHugh (5-9, 3.08 ERA) earned his first win since June 3 in his last outing Tuesday against the Twins, giving up just four hits and one run over six innings.
“It’s not something new or something you’re really consciously thinking about as a pitcher,” McHugh said after the game. “You want to go out and throw zeros up for as many innings you can, as long as you can. That’s what we’ve been trying to do these last few outings, and today we were blessed enough to get a win out of it.”
McHugh has put together a strong stretch of starts over the last month, allowing just one earned run in each of his last three starts — good for a 1.40 ERA in August.
Sunday will be McHugh’s first career appearance against the Red Sox.
Astros vs. Kelly (RHP)
Dexter Fowler has one strikeout in two plate appearances against Kelly.
Collin McHugh (1 plate appearance): .000/.000/.000
Red Sox vs. McHugh (RHP)
Kelly has one double in two plate appearances against McHugh.
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