Joe Kelly

Friday’s Red Sox-Mariners matchups: Joe Kelly vs. Mike Montgomery

August 14, 2015 - 4:19 am

On the heels of two losses to the Marlins, the Red Sox will return to Fenway Park on Friday evening to face the Mariners. Joe Kelly will get the ball for the Sox while Mike Montgomery pitches for Seattle. Last time out on Aug. 7 against the Tigers, Kelly turned in a strong start in which he gave up just two earned runs on seven hits with as many strikeouts and two walks. Those 5 1/3 innings of work earned him the win, his second consecutive victory, though the prior outing on Aug. 1 wasn't quite as strong as he allowed five earned runs in five full. In Detroit, Kelly was able to deliver with some help from his defense, improving his season record to 4-6 and his ERA to 5.96. "I had a good mix of pitches going on early," he said last Friday. "Trying to keep the hitters off balance ... from the get-go. Trying not to let hitters attack us, really. Just a solid mix of offspeed. But honestly, we had great plays made out there. Jackie Bradley, obviously one of the best center fielders in the game. Brock [Holt] made a good play. I think that was just part of just trying to throw strikes and get ahead of guys, and let those guys work out there, especially with the big field." Kelly has just two starts against the Mariners in his career, one this year and one last year. In 11 1/3 innings, the righty has conceded just one earned run on six hits for a 0.79 ERA with seven strikeouts and a half-dozen walks. His WHIP vs. Seattle is 1.05 and he holds M's batters to a .154/.283/.154 slash line. His appearance against the Mariners this year, a road endeavor, was 6 1/3 innings long back on May 14 and yielded one earned run on five hits with three walks and two K's. The Sox ended up winning that game 2-1 on a ninth-inning solo home run by Shane Victorino, but Kelly did not factor in the decision. Montgomery, a rookie in the majors, will see the Red Sox for the first time Friday and has had an interesting season. Getting traded from the Rays to the Mariners on March 31 and debuting for Seattle on June 2, the left-hander has posted a 4-4 record in 13 starts with a 3.25 ERA. In his first month as a big leaguer, Montgomery recorded a 3-2 record with a 1.62 ERA over 44 1/3 innings. He's had a 5.25 ERA in the following 36 innings, registering just three starts of six or more innings pitched in seven outings compared to the six straight he had to open the year. In addition, the 26-year-old hurled two complete games during June, back to back even, against the Royals and Padres. He has not pitched more than 6 2/3 innings since then. His latest start, a four-inning effort on Saturday, garnered three earned runs on five hits with four walks and four strikeouts. Montgomery also put up a 37-pitch fourth inning and threw 52.4 percent of his total pitches for strikes. The Mariners ended up dropping that game to the Rangers by a score of 11-3 in extra innings as Texas exploded for an eight-run 11th frame. "One thing is this kid's got to understand is when he came into the big leagues, he was successful because the catcher put down a sign and he threw a pitch," Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said Saturday. "Now he's thinking too much, too much shaking. Just follow the game plan and pitch." Mariners vs. Kelly (RHP) Nelson Cruz (13 plate appearances): .455 AVG/.538 OBP/.455 SLG, 2 RBIs, 2 walks, 1 strikeout Logan Morrison (11): .222/.364/.556, 1 HR, 3 RBIs, 2 walks, 1 strikeout Robinson Cano (5): .000/.000/.000 Brad Miller (5): .250/.400/.250, 1 walk Kyle Seager (5): .500/.600/.500 Austin Jackson (3): .000/.333/.000, 1 walk, 1 strikeout Seth Smith has one strikeout in eight plate appearances vs. Kelly, and Mike Zunino has four strikeouts in five plate appearances against him. Red Sox vs. Montgomery (LHP) No current members of the Red Sox have faced Montgomery.