Kelly wins 7th straight start; Red Sox beat Phillies 7-5
BOSTON (AP) Joe Kelly has always been known as a hard thrower.
But these days, he’s more than just a big fastball for the Red Sox.
Kelly won his seventh straight start, pitching six effective innings in Boston’s 7-5 interleague win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday night.
The 27-year-old right-hander struggled in the early part of the season, sometimes relying too much on his mid-to-upper 90s fastball. On his recent run, he’s thrown more off-speed pitches.
”Something that I learned is that you can’t just keep pounding fastballs, especially in this division with the hitters,” Kelly said. ”Like I said, you’ve got to keep all the hitters off-speed throughout the entire game.”
Jackie Bradley Jr. hit a solo homer and David Ortiz an RBI double in a four-run seventh inning that carried the Red Sox to their eighth win in their last 10 meetings against the Phillies in Fenway Park.
It was more than enough support for Kelly.
”Seventh win in a row is impressive,” Boston’s interim manager Torey Lovullo said. ”Want happens inside of each outing is limited runs and total control of not just the fastball.”
Mookie Betts added an RBI double for Boston, which entered the weekend 10-1-2 in its last 13 series against the Phillies.
Odubel Herrera had a two-run homer and three hits for Philadelphia.
Kelly (9-6) gave up two runs on five hits in six innings. He’s the first Red Sox pitcher since Josh Beckett in 2007 to win seven consecutive starts.
The Phillies stranded eight baserunners and went 2 for 10 with runners in scoring position.
Robbie Ross Jr. struck out Ryan Howard for the final out of his first career save after closer Jean Machi gave up three runs in the ninth.
Leading 3-2, Boston broke it open in the seventh, chasing Adam Morgan (5-5).
Bradley Jr. homered into the center field bleachers. Xander Bogaerts’ fielder’s choice grounder scored a run, making it 5-2.
”I felt good going into the seventh,” Morgan said. ”That one to Bradley I left right over the middle of the plate, but I felt good going out there.”
Ortiz then barely missed his 496th career homer when he doubled home Bogaerts with a drive high off the center field wall against reliever Jeanmar Gomez. Big Papi rumbled home from third when first baseman Darin Ruf mishandled a cutoff throw on Travis Shaw’s single.
Morgan gave up six runs on eight hits in 6 1-3 innings.
The Red Sox had regained the lead with two runs in the fifth. Betts’ RBI double into the right-center field gap tied it. Brock Holt followed with a sacrifice fly.
The Phillies scored both runs off Kelly in the fourth, taking a 2-1 edge. Darnell Sweeney’s grounder plated the first before Ruf had an RBI single.
Phillies: RF Dominic Brown is sidelined with a concussion he sustained flipping over a wall in Wednesday’s loss to the New York Mets.
Red Sox: 3B Pablo Sandoval was scratched after his back tightened up during BP. … Hanley Ramirez was out for the seventh straight game with a sore right shoulder.
Herrera was cut down at second on an interesting play in the fifth. Left fielder Rusney Castillo tracked down Herrera’s base hit in the gap and fired to Holt at second. Herrera slid headfirst and overshot the bag as Holt dove and missed him with a tag attempt. Herrera tried to dive back as Holt lunged at him, and Holt applied the tag.
FINALLY OVER .500 AT FENWAY
Boston improved to 35-34 at home after winning at Fenway for the 11th time in 18 games.
Phillies: RHP Alec Asher (0-1) is scheduled to make his second major league start on Saturday.
Red Sox: LHP Wade Miley (10-10) is set to start Saturday. He’s 0-1 in his last two starts, giving up 22 hits in 12 2-3 innings.