Joe Kelly

Wednesday's Red Sox-Astros matchups: Joe Kelly vs. Collin McHugh

July 22, 2015 - 6:10 am
Note: Updated with Joe Kelly pitching for the Red Sox instead of Wade Miley. Joe Kelly will lead the Red Sox against Collin McHugh and the Astros on Wednesday night as the Sox attempt to end their six-game skid. Kelly will take the hill after being called up from Triple-A Pawtucket to rejoin the big league squad. His first stint with the team this season was not a good one and led to his demotion. The right-hander owns a record of 2-5 with a 5.67 ERA in 14 major league starts on the season. His last start for the Red Sox came on June 23, when he got shelled by the Orioles. Kelly lasted 3 2/3 innings and allowed five runs on eight hits while both walking and striking out two. The Sox and Kelly wound up losing by a 6-4 margin. Kelly, 27, was sent down after the game and has since made four starts for Pawtucket (though in one of the four he pitched only the first inning). In those outings, he has pitched 19 innings and struck out 18 hitters, earning a 2.84 ERA and 1-1 record. Triple-A opponents have hit .206 against Kelly. In his last start on Friday, Kelly threw five innings and allowed two runs on four hits, striking out seven. Manager John Farrell and the Red Sox announced on Tuesday that Kelly would be rejoining the team. "The power is there. There has been, last time out, almost the tale of two performances inside of one game where he was dominant the first couple of innings and then some foul balls, high pitch counts after that," Farrell said of Kelly. "There's been more of an effort and emphasis on throwing the ball in to right-handers and using both sides of the plate." The Astros will send McHugh to the mound for the top half of the first Wednesday. The 28-year-old journeyman has found a home in Houston with a 21-14 record and a 3.44 ERA since joining the team in 2014. For the season, he's 10-5 with a 4.35 ERA and a troubling 1.29 WHIP. Opponents have crushed McHugh in 2015, posting a .273/.321/.419 slash line, a stark contrast from the .208/.268/.320 line last year. McHugh has shown signs that he is getting back on track of late. Over his last five starts, the righty sports a 2.62 ERA and a .248/.284/.301 opponents' slash line. One of these starts came at Fenway Park where McHugh dueled Clay Buchholz on Independence Day. Buchholz came out the victor on the heels of a spectacular complete-game, one-run effort while McHugh labored through 5 1/3 innings, allowing seven hits and three walks as he gave up four runs. "Especially the top of their lineup, they put together some good at-bats against me early on," McHugh said after his 6-1 defeat. "They got some guys over, got some guys in on some big hits." On July 4, McHugh struggled to contain the duo of Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts, as they combined to go 3-for-5 with three RBIs. With the offense in shambles, the Red Sox hope that Betts and Bogaerts can replicate a similar performance Wednesday. Red Sox vs. McHugh (RHP) Xander Bogaerts (6 plate appearances): .400 AVG/.500 OBP/.600 SLG, 1 double, 2 RBIs Brock Holt (6): .500/.667/.500, 2 walks David Ortiz (6): .000/.333/.000, 2 walks Mookie Betts (4): .500/.500/1.000, 1 double, 2 RBIs Ryan Hanigan (4): .000/.333/.000 Mike Napoli (3): .000/.000/.000 Hanley Ramirez (3): .000/.000/.000 Pablo Sandoval (3): .000/.000/.000 Shane Victorino (3): .333/.333/.333 Alejandro De Aza is 1-for-2 against McHugh. No other Red Sox have faced McHugh. Astros vs, Kelly (RHP) Luis Valbuena (12 plate appearances): .000 AVG/.250 OBP/.000 SLG, 3 walks, 1 strikeout Evan Gattis (6): .167/.167/.167, 1 strikeout Jose Altuve (3): 1.000/1.000/2.000, 1 home run, 4 RBIs Chris Carter (3): .000/.000/.000 Jon Singleton (3): .000/.667/.000, 2 walks, 1 strikeout Darwin Gonzalez (2): .000/.000/.000 No other Astros have faced Kelly.