The speculation about Kelly being called up to Boston started immediately following Saturday night's 11-9 loss to the Twins, a game in which the bullpen coughed up a three-run lead by allowing six runs on eight hits in 1.1 innings. Kelly will be used in a multi-inning role.
All six of Kelly's previous appearances with the Red Sox have come as a starter, but after struggling mightily in that capacity, he'll work as a reliever in this stint with big club. He seemed to take well to bullpen duties during his time at Pawtucket, allowing no runs over five innings and striking out nine batters while walking only one. The Red Sox will likely ease him into the relief mix in lower-leverage situations initially, but with top bullpen arms Craig Kimbrel (knee) and Koji Uehara (pectoral) on the DL, Kelly's role could quickly grow if he finds early success.
Sale had been scheduled to start this past Saturday against the Tigers, but was scratched hours before game time due to what the White Sox deemed as a "non-physical clubhouse incident." It was later revealed that Sale had taken issue with the throwback uniforms the White Sox were set to wear for Saturday's game, and his dissatisfaction boiled over to the point that management decided it was best to send him home for the day. It's likely that the White Sox will address the Sale situation in-house within the next few days, but assuming that both the pitcher and the team are able to patch things up, he should be back on the mound for one final audition for potential suitors before the Aug. 1 non-waiver trade deadline.
Boston's bullpen, with some assistance from its utility fielders masquerading as outfielders, imploded during an 11-9 loss to the Twins on Saturday. The casualty from that loss was Heath Hembree, who was optioned to Pawtucket immediately following the game, creating a spot on the roster for Kelly, who has not allowed a run while striking out nine in five innings out of the bullpen for the PawSox.
Manager John Farrell did not make an announcement, but he implied Hembree's demotion opens up a spot for Kelly, who has struck out nine and walked one without being charged with a run in five innings pitched out the bullpen for the PawSox.
The veteran righty simply didn't have it Saturday, throwing a whopping 65 pitches over his two frames and getting touched up for four runs in the second inning alone on a Dustin Pedroia ground-rule double and a three-run shot by Hanley Ramirez. The outing was Nolasco's shortest of the season, and the six earned runs equaled his second-highest total in that category in 2016. The 33-year-old has given up 13 runs (12 earned) over three of his last four starts, and has surrendered at least one homer in six of his last seven trips to the mound. He'll look to bounce back when he takes on the White Sox next Friday.
Although he didn't give up any homers, Price pitched to a considerable amount of contact. He also fell behind early in the count frequently, notching first-pitch strikes on only 13 of 27 hitters and inducing a mere seven swinging strikes. Price was responsible for over half of the Twins' 19 hits on the night, and has now given up 11 hits in back-to-back starts. He'll look to right the ship when he takes on the Angels next Thursday.
The veteran right-hander got into trouble from the first inning, with a Chris Davis fielder's choice plating Adam Jones and Mark Trumbo bringing home Davis with a 386-foot two-run shot immediately thereafter. Pedro Alvarez's 448-foot solo shot in the seventh then chased Tomlin, and marked the 24th homer he's given up overall this season. Six of those round-trippers have come over his four July starts, with Tomlin giving 12 runs (nine earned) in two of those outings. He'll look to bounce back when he takes on the A's next Saturday.
The left-hander allowed a run in the first inning after putting three men on base, but he settled down and cruised for five more frames, needing just 88 total pitches to do so. Smyly broke a brutal streak of four consecutive losses during which he had an inflated ERA of 9.14, and he nearly won his first game in over two months, but Alex Colome imploded in the ninth inning and lost the game. Smyly will have the opportunity to build on Saturday's quality start next Saturday at home against the Yankees.
It appeared that Graveman would be a hard luck loser, but two A's homers in the bottom of the ninth made him a winner. Graveman has been fantastic in his last four starts, going 4-0 with a 2.35 ERA in that stretch. Graveman does not provide a lot of strikeouts (only a 5.69 K/9 on the season), but he has ben effective with his sinker lately and has allowed more than three earned runs only once in his last nine starts. He is next scheduled to toe the rubber on Friday in Cleveland.