video thumbnail

BOS@CIN: Kelly tosses six innings of two-run ball

While Joe Kelly has made two starts for the Red Sox since being acquired at the non-waiver Trade Deadline from the Cardinals, the young right-hander has yet to feel what it's like to pitch in the American League.

That's because both starts have been against National League opponents on the road. The first came against his former club and the second came Tuesday against the Reds.

He'll finally face an AL opponent in Sunday's series finale against the Astros. It'll also mark the right-hander's first career start at Fenway Park.

"I'm excited to pitch in front of the home crowd and see how the mound is and the surroundings," Kelly said. "I'm definitely excited to get out there for my first start."

While the dimensions of Busch Stadium -- his former home park -- and Fenway are quite different, Kelly said he's not going to change his approach.

"That wall in left field is definitely different than Busch Stadium. You can't let that bother you," Kelly said. "It is really close. When I took batting practice here, I was putting some in the street and I'm a pitcher. You just have to go out there and pitch. I've talked to the guys and they tell me just to pitch to your strengths and not worry about the field."

In his two starts with Boston, Kelly has tossed 13 innings, allowing just three runs on eight hits for two no-decisions.

He'll oppose Astros right-hander Collin McHugh, who tossed six innings in his last start against the Twins, allowing just one run on four hits. It marked his first win since June 3.

"It's not something new or something you're really consciously thinking about as a pitcher," McHugh said after the game. "You want to go out and throw zeros up for as many innings you can, as long as you can."

McHugh has allowed one run in each of his last three starts, posting a 1.40 ERA in August. It's the fifth-best ERA in the AL this month.

Picked up on waivers from Colorado in December, McHugh has found a home with Houston. He's made 18 starts and has a 3.08 ERA, allowing just 79 hits and striking out 118 in 108 innings.

Astros: Dominguez gets a breather
After 104 consecutive games in the starting lineup, Astros third baseman Matt Dominguez was given the day off Saturday at Fenway Park. Dominguez entered Saturday tied for the Major League lead with 122 games played.

Dominguez had started every game since April 20, including three at designed hitter.

"It's that time of year when you start getting a little fatigued and tired," Dominguez said. "I played a good amount of games and it will be nice to get more of a mental break and also give you a physical break. It will be nice."

Dominguez, in his second full season as starter, is hitting .229 with 14 homers and 50 RBIs.

Red Sox: Ortiz makes history
David Ortiz joined an exclusive list Saturday night after belting a two-run home run to center field in the third inning, his 400th as a member of the Red Sox.

Before Ortiz, only Hall of Famers Ted Williams (521) and Carl Yastrzemski (452) had 400 home runs with the Red Sox.

Ortiz added another two-run shot in the fifth, bringing his career total to 459. It marked his 45th career multi-homer game.

Worth boting
• Kelly will be making his first career start against Houston. He's made two relief appearances against the Astros, throwing 1 1/3 scoreless innings with two hits and two strikeouts.

• Since July 1, Houston slugger Chris Carter leads the Majors in homers (16) and RBIs (39).

• Yoenis Cespedes has reached base in 12 of his 13 games since his Red Sox debut Aug. 2.

MLB.com Comments