Joe Kelly

Wednesday's Red Sox-Rays matchups: Joe Kelly vs. Nathan Karns

April 22, 2015 - 4:16 am

The Red Sox send Joe Kelly to the mound on Wednesday to face Nathan Karns in the middle game of a three-game set against the Rays at Tropicana Field. Kelly leads all Red Sox starters in ERA (2.13), WHIP (0.711) and batting average against (.119). In 12 2/3 innings over two starts, Kelly has allowed just three runs and five hits while striking out 11 and walking four. He got the win against the Yankees in his first outing but was handed a no-decision against the Orioles last time out as the Sox scored just two runs until the bullpen was called on. Kelly and Justin Masterson are the only two Boston starters who have not been charged with a loss this season. In the outing against the Orioles, Kelly threw 5 2/3 innings of two-run baseball, allowing just four hits and two walks while striking out three. One of the hits was the righty's first home run allowed, a solo shot to Caleb Joseph. He threw 118 pitches in the start after throwing 93 in seven innings in the outing against the Yankees. "He had great stuff," manager John Farrell said after the game. "€œThey did a good job of staying within the strike zone, not chasing some fastballs just off the edge. A number of foul balls that run the pitch, or run some deeper counts. I thought once he got into the fifth inning he started to use his curveball a little bit more to slow some hitters down. He still maintained his stuff throughout the 118 pitches thrown. Probably a little bit more than I would have liked to take him tonight but still he kept his power throughout." Wednesday will be Kelly's first start against Tampa Bay. Kelly's opponent on the mound will be rookie right-hander Nathan Karns. Karns started three games with the Nationals in 2013 and two games with Tampa Bay last season but still is designated as a rookie. In three starts this season, Karns is 1-1 with a 4.58 ERA and a 1.075 WHIP. He has struck out 17 while walking 10 in 17 2/3 innings of work. Karns' most recent outing came against the Yankees in Tampa Bay. He allowed two runs on two hits (both home runs) and four walks while striking out seven. The native of Pennsylvania got a no-decision on the day as the Rays went on to lose, 5-4. Karns has not faced the Red Sox in his brief career. Red Sox vs. Karns (RHP) No Red Sox have faced Karns. Rays vs. Kelly (RHP) David DeJesus (10 plate appearances): .333 AVG/.400 OBP/.333 SLG, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts Asdrubel Cabrera (3): .333/.333/.333 No other Rays have faced Kelly.