Kelly makes Red Sox debut vs. former Cards club
(SportsNetwork.com) - Joe Kelly and Shelby Miller are close friends, but will be foes when the Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals resume a three-game series Wednesday at Busch Stadium.
Kelly was traded to the Red Sox last week in the deal that sent John Lackey to the Gateway City and will face Miller and the Cardinals tonight. Kelly went 2-2 with a 4.37 earned run average in seven starts with the Cardinals and is ready for his Boston debut.
"There will be some (emotions) there, yeah," Kelly said. "You just have to go out there and try to minimize them and focus on the task at hand."
The task at hand is trying to stop a three-game losing streak for the Red Sox and Kelly has struggled in his past two outings. He allowed five runs in 4 2/3 innings against the Chicago Cubs on July 25, then was touched for four runs across five innings of a 12-1 defeat at San Diego one week ago.
Kelly, a right-hander, was 1-2 in five road starts for the Cardinals and has given up 16 runs in his past four trips to the mound. St. Louis drafted him in the third round in 2009. In 35 games (20 starts) at Busch Stadium, Kelly is 9-7 with a 2.90 ERA.
Boston needs to provide Kelly with run support and suffered a 3-2 loss in Tuesday's series opener. Jon Jay stroked an RBI single off Red Sox reliever Junichi Tazawa and Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal shut Boston down in the ninth for his MLB-leading 35th save.
Rubby De La Rosa pitched well in the no-decision for the Red Sox, charged with just a run in six innings for the no-decision. Yoenis Cespedes, who was acquired from Oakland last week, recorded three hits and a run scored. Boston has lost 11 of its last 13 games and opened its eight-game road trip on a sour note. It has lost six of seven road games and is 22-32 away from Fenway Park.
St. Louis struck first in a rematch of last season's World Series won by the Red Sox in six games. Jay returned from a five-game absence because of injury to provide the big hit and both Matt Carpenter and A.J. Pierzynski finished with a pair of hits.
"It felt great being back out there," Jay said. "We've said it all along ... we have a good lineup, we have good depth, we just haven't been able to make things happen sometimes. We feel good about our lineup. We just have to keep battling, like we did tonight. We took advantage of some chances."
Pat Neshek threw a scoreless eighth inning for the win and starter Lance Lynn held the Red Sox to two runs -- one earned -- in seven innings.
The Cardinals have won three in a row and six of their last nine games, and are only one game in back of Milwaukee for the NL Central lead.
Miller is 8-8 with a 4.14 ERA and was able to stop an eight-game winless drought (0-3) in last Thursday's 6-2 win at San Diego. Miller limited the Padres to two runs in six innings of work and prevailed for the first time since a win at Toronto on June 7.
The righty is 3-5 in 11 games (10 starts) at home and has not walked a batter in his last two starts. He hasn't allowed more than three hits in that time and will face Boston for the first time.
Miller and Kelly were the best man in each other's weddings.
St. Louis won two of three games in Boston back in 2008 and did the same at home in this series in 2005.
08/06 10:51:15 ET