Kelly's pinch-hit leads Phillies past Sale, Red Sox, 1-0

Kelly's pinch-hit leads Phillies past Sale, Red Sox, 1-0

PHILADELPHIA -- Nick Pivetta figured that if the Phillies were going to end their losing streak he needed to keep up with Boston ace Chris Sale.

Pivetta did just that with the best performance of his young career in a pitchers' duel with Sale. Pinch-hitter Ty Kelly doubled home the only run in the eighth inning to lead the Phillies to a 1-0 victory over the Red Sox on Thursday night.

"It was the first time I faced a guy like that," Pivetta said. "It was really exciting. I tried to go toe to toe with him and stay with him as much as I can."

Sale (8-3) was cruising until a one-out single by Andrew Knapp set the stage for Kelly's game-winning hit that ended the Phillies' eight-game losing streak. Kelly lined a slider into the left-field corner. Andrew Benintendi's throw sailed over the cutoff man and was a tad late, allowing Knapp to score from first for the only run of the game.

Kelly said the hit was in the top five moments of his big league career.

"It feels good," he said. "Maybe more of my friends will text me tonight."

Sale allowed four hits with 10 strikeouts, upping his major league-leading total to 136. It was his 44th career double-digit strikeout game and ninth this season.

"He was outstanding once again," Boston manager John Farrell said. "He's one of the best pitchers in baseball."

Said Sale, "It was fun, but I would have liked to have gotten the win."

Pat Neshek (2-1) pitched a scoreless inning in relief of Pivetta and Hector Neris earned his sixth save in seven tries with a scoreless ninth to help Philadelphia win its first interleague game of the season.

"That was nice to see," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said.

The Phillies salvaged a game in the four-game home and home series with the Red Sox to improve to 1-8 in interleague games.

Pivetta went past the fifth inning for the first time in his seventh start. He allowed four hits in seven innings and nearly matched Sale with nine strikeouts against two walks.

"He just pounded the strike zone," Mackanin said. "He didn't get in trouble and start nitpicking."

The Red Sox threatened in the eighth against Neshek when Sale led off with a double, his first career extra-base hit that drew the large contingent of visiting Red Sox fans to their feet. Sale went to third on Mookie Betts' lineout to right field, but Neshek struck out Dustin Pedroia and got Xander Bogaerts to pop out in foul territory to first baseman Tommy Joseph to end the threat.

STREAK CONTINUED

Joseph singled in the fourth inning to extend his hitting streak to 11 games. Joseph is batting .364 with four doubles, a homer and seven RBIs over the stretch.

STREAK STOPPED

Pedroia finished 0 for 4 with two strikeouts, ending his streak of five straight multi-hit games.

RARE FEAT

Sale became just the fifth Boston pitcher to record an extra-base hit, joining Josh Beckett, John Lackey, Derek Lowe and Jake Peavy.

NO EMERGENCY

The game continued in the fifth inning despite a fire alarm that rang loudly throughout the stadium and a message on the scoreboard that asked fans to leave the ballpark. The alarm stopped just before Sale struck out Daniel Nava for the first out.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Red Sox: 1B Mitch Moreland returned after he was out of the lineup on Wednesday after getting hit by a pitch on the left foot in Tuesday's game against Philadelphia. ... RHP Tyler Thornburg will undergo season-ending surgery on Friday for thoracic outlet syndrome. Thornburg hasn't pitched all season after feeling discomfort in his throwing shoulder this spring. ... RHP Carson Smith will begin a rehab assignment on Sunday at Triple-A Pawtucket. Smith hasn't pitched this year after having Tommy John surgery last season.

UP NEXT

Red Sox: LHP Drew Pomeranz (6-4, 4.48) pitches for Boston against Astros RHP Mike Fiers (4-2, 4.29) on Friday night in the first of a three-game set in Houston.

Phillies: RHP Aaron Nola (3-4, 4.40) opens a three-game home series against Arizona on Friday night. LHP Patrick Corbin (5-6, 5.38) goes for the Diamondbacks.

David Price improves command, indicates he's pitching through ailment

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David Price improves command, indicates he's pitching through ailment

BOSTON — David Price and Rick Porcello showed improvement on back-to-back nights Friday and Saturday, important signs for the Red Sox after a difficult month for both pitchers prior to this homestand.

Price on Saturday night went six innings and allowed three runs, two earned, in a 6-3 loss to the Angels. He fanned five and his velocity has been consistently better this year than last year.

But the most important number was his walk total: one. He walked three batters in his previous start, and four in both of his starts prior.

“Two outings ago, the first start here in Fenway,” Sox manager John Farrell said. “There was better timing in his delivery and overall better separation over the rubber. And he carried that through I thought, even though there's a higher pitch count in Houston, and has been able to maintain it here. I can't say there was one specific thing. It's been more the timing over the rubber. And you're seeing him pitch out of the stretch exclusively. Just less moving parts in a better position to repeat it.”

After Price’s final inning, the telecast captured Price calling pitching coach Carl Willis into the tunnel. Neither Farrell nor Price detailed the conversation. 

“Yeah, everything was fine,” Farrell said of the conversation. “Everything is OK there.”

Price made it sound like he’s dealing with some sort of physical ailment, but was vague.

“There's a lot of stuff going on right now,” the pitcher said when asked about the desire to stay out there. “You don't want it to linger into the next start, or two or three weeks from now, and that's why we did what we did.”

Asked to elaborate, Price reinforced that the decision was to save his body for another day.

“You never want to come out of a game. But you have to look forward at the time,” Price said. “You don’t want today to cost you your next start or you know, the start after that. So that’s what happened.

“It has nothing to do with my elbow or anything like that. This is — you get past one thing and there’s another So that’s what it is.”

Price in New York in early June felt a blister develop on his ring finger. He missed an in-between start bullpen because of it.

Asked about the blister Saturday, Price said, “That one’s gone.”

Farrell indicated the blister was diminished, if not entirely gone.

“He's been dealing with that,” Farrell said. “I think while it's still present and maybe not as severe as it was when it first happened, I'm sure he's going to check on it occasionally."

Red Sox threaten late, but can't come back in 6-3 loss to Angels

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Red Sox threaten late, but can't come back in 6-3 loss to Angels

BOSTON - JC Ramirez rebounded from his shortest career start with six solid innings, Cameron Maybin doubled home a run and scored another and the Los Angeles Angels held off the Boston Red Sox 6-3 on Saturday night.

The Angels look for their fifth series win in their last six on Sunday.

Mitch Moreland hit a solo homer for the Red Sox, who lost for only the third time in their last 13 home games.

Ramirez (7-5) allowed one run and four hits with five strikeouts after lasting just three innings and giving up five runs in his previous start.

Blake Parker struck out pinch-hitter Chris Young with the bases loaded for the final out for his first save of the season after Boston scored twice in the ninth.

Red Sox manager John Farrell was ejected by third-base umpire and crew chief Bill Miller after Fernando Abad was called for a balk, scoring a run that made it 5-1 in the seventh.