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Friday’s Red Sox-Mariners matchups: Joe Kelly vs. Felix Hernandez

08.22.14 at 8:33 am ET
By
Joe Kelly

Joe Kelly

The Red Sox will close out their 11-game homestand when they host the Mariners for a three-game set at Fenway Park. Boston will send Joe Kelly to the mound against Seattle ace Felix Hernandez in the series opener Friday.

Kelly (0-1, 5.29 ERA) will be looking to rebound from a rough Fenway debut Sunday, as the righty gave up seven hits and seven earned runs while walking six in just four innings against the Astros.

“Plenty of stuff. Plenty of power. Plenty of action to his secondary pitches,”€ said Red Sox manager John Farrell when asked about Kelly’€™s outing after the game. “Just his command was not as its been in the first two outings for him.”

While Kelly has turned in both promising and discouraging outings during his brief Red Sox career, one recurring trend for the 26-year-old has been issues with command. Kelly has walked 13 batters in his last 17 innings of work.

Friday will stand as Kelly’€™s first career start against the Mariners.

The Red Sox certainly have their work cut out for them against Hernandez (13-4, 1.99 ERA), who has once again solidified himself as arguably the top pitcher in the American League this season.

Hernandez is the clear frontrunner to secure his second Cy Young Award this season, as the right-hander leads the league in ERA and WHIP (0.87) while ranking second in innings pitched (185 1/3), wins (13) and strikeouts (197).

Hernandez only lasted five innings against the Tigers in his last outing Saturday against David Price and the Tigers, giving up seven hits and two earned runs while eventually taking the loss in the 4-2 Tigers victory.

“€œIt was not that good,”€ Hernandez said when asked about his performance Saturday, adding: “Changeup was up a little bit. Fastball tonight was not there.”

The outing snapped Hernandez’€™s streak of 16 consecutive starts of seven-plus innings with two or fewer runs allowed — an MLB record.

Hernandez once again turned in a dominating performance in his last appearance against Boston on June 23, giving up two earned runs over seven innings while striking out six in what was a 12-3 Mariners win. In 15 career starts against the Red Sox, Hernandez is 8-2 with a 2.97 ERA. The 28-year-old has been even better at Fenway, compiling a 3-1 record with a 2.36 ERA in seven starts.

Mariners vs. Kelly (RHP)

Logan Morrison (6 plate appearances): .400/.500/1.000, 1 home run, 2 RBIs

Red Sox vs. Hernandez (RHP) 

Mike Napoli (45): .205/.311/.436, 2 home runs, 14 strikeouts

Dustin Pedroia (44): .300/.364/.400, 1 home run, 3 RBIs

David Ortiz (41): .324/.415/.441, 1 home run, 6 RBIs

Yoenis Cespedes (32): .200/.250/.233, 1 double, 10 strikeouts

Daniel Nava (17): .235/.235/.294, 1 double, 4 strikeouts

Brock Holt (9): .125/.222/.125, 1 single, 1 strikeout

Kelly Johnson has two singles and two strikeouts in five plate appearances against Hernandez.

Will Middlebrooks has two strikeouts in four plate appearances against Hernandez.

Xander Bogaerts has one strikeout in three plate appearances against Hernandez.

Read More: felix hernandez, Joe Kelly, Mariners, Red Sox
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