Joe Kelly

Monday’s Red Sox-White Sox matchups: Joe Kelly vs. Jeff Samardzija

August 24, 2015 - 5:10 am

For Monday's series opener between the Red Sox and the White Sox in Chicago, Boston will send Joe Kelly to the mound to face Jeff Samardzija. Kelly has turned a corner recently as he is in the midst of a four-game winning streak and owner of a 1.56 ERA in his last three starts. Over those 17 1/3 innings, the righty has kept batters slashing .250/.324/.422, giving up 16 hits and striking out 16 while walking seven. His latest start was a six-inning effort that yielded just one unearned run in an otherwise scoreless outing for him. Kelly threw 57 of his 100 total pitches for strikes and fanned three while walking as many. That start, a 6-4 win over the Indians on Wednesday, helped improve his season ERA to 5.37 and his record for the year to 6-6. "Just trying to keep hitters off balance, not necessarily keep pounding fastballs away," Kelly said after his appearance Wednesday. "I've been throwing some offspeed pitches for strikes, and that's definitely helped, especially with guys on base." Kelly's first and only start of his career against the White Sox came earlier this season on July 27, his second start back after returning to the rotation. Lasting just 3 1/3 innings, he allowed four earned runs on seven hits with no walks and a pair of strikeouts. Of those seven hits, two were doubles and two were triples, and the 27-year-old gave up three of his earned runs, though four total were scored, in the the top of the first inning. Because of the abbreviated start, Kelly has a 10.80 ERA vs. the White Sox but did not earn a decision as the Red Sox managed to tie the score and even take the lead after their starter exited. They still ended up losing, though, 10-8. Samardzija saw the Red Sox at the end of July, and he has a slightly longer history of facing Monday's opponent than Kelly. He won his outing back on July 28, hurling eight innings and conceding four earned runs on seven hits, and has culminated a 1-1 record over two starts and three total appearances against Boston. Beside this season's win, Samardzija made a start vs. the Sox in 2012 and went an inning against them in 2011. In those total 14 1/3 innings, the right-hander has allowed 10 earned runs on 15 total hits with a 1.465 WHIP. With four doubles, two home runs and six walks in that time as well, he has kept the Red Sox to a .259/.328/.431 slash line. This season as a whole has been a bit of a roller coaster for Samardzija, who has an 8-9 record with a 4.64 ERA. After beginning the year with a 4.78 ERA in April, he posted a 3.00 mark in May with three wins and no losses. Similarly, he had a 5.75 ERA in the month of June while subsequently recording a 2.37 average through July. So far in August, he has a 9.27 ERA and has lost every game since that last start against the Red Sox. Even when he got the ball Wednesday evening against the Angels and allowed just one earned run in seven innings, he took the loss. "What had been getting me in trouble [in previous starts] was giving up little hits and letting them get to me and then it snowballs," Samardzija said Wednesday. "I wanted to go out there and stay in control of the game and continue to make good pitches. Regardless of the results, just keep doing that." Red Sox vs. Samardzija (RHP) Hanley Ramirez (23 plate appearances): .435 AVG/.435 OBP/.522 SLG, 2 doubles, 3 RBIs, 7 strikeouts Alejandro De Aza (19): .176/.263/.235, 1 double, 2 walks, 5 strikeouts Ryan Hanigan (10): .200/.200/.200, 3 strikeouts Pablo Sandoval (10): .400/.400/1.000, 2 home runs, 6 RBIs David Ortiz (8): .500/.625/.833, 2 doubles, 2 walks Xander Bogaerts (4): .250/.250/.250 Brock Holt (4): .250/.250/.250, 1 strikeout Josh Rutledge (3): .667/.667/.667, 1 RBI Mookie Betts (2): .000/.000/.000 Rusney Castillo (2): .500/.500/.500 Blake Swihart has one strikeout in three plate appearances vs. Samardzija. White Sox vs. Kelly (RHP) Melky Cabrera (8 plate appearances): .500 AVG/.500 OBP/.875 SLG, 3 doubles, 1 RBI, 1 strikeout Geovany Soto (3): .333/.333/.333 Jose Abreu (2): 1.000/1.000/1.000, 1 RBI Adam Eaton (2): .500/.500/1.500, 1 triple, 1 strikeout Tyler Flowers (2): .000/.000/.000 Avisail Garcia (2): .500/.500/.500 Tyler Saladino (2): .500/.500/1.500, 1 triple, 1 RBI Carlos Sanchez (2): .500/.500/.500 J.B. Shuck (2): .000/.000/.000, 1 RBI Alexei Ramirez has one strikeout in two plate appearances against Kelly.