Farrell: Kelly staying with Red Sox

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If you thought the Red Sox rotation was a mess to start the season, it's a disaster zone in July.

With Clay Buchholz out for the foreseeable future, the Sox are scrambling more than ever to piece together five starters. On Monday, Steven Wright started. On Tuesday, Brian Johnson made his MLB debut.

And on Wednesday, Johnson was sent back down to Pawtucket and Joe Kelly was activated to start.

Kelly's performance? Mixed. On one hand, he allowed a career-high three home runs in 5 1/3 innings, leading to four runs. On the other, he did show some glimpses of improvement. The fifth inning pretty much sums it up: Kelly wrapped three strikeouts around a two-run home by Preston Tucker.

"Couple of pitches up over the plate that they made him pay for," John Farrell told reporters of Kelly. "The hanging slider to [Evan] Gattis (which Gattis hit for a home run), the 3-2 slider to Tucker in the first inning (that Tucker hit out), and then he's trying to get a groundball and a two-seamer that didn't quite get to the area for the two-run homer [by Tucker]  . . . "

Kelly made four starts with the PawSox, going 1-1 with a 2.84 ERA. While his outing isn't going to win him any Cy Young awards, he did do enough to remain with the team, according to Farrell, who said there's "no plan" to send him back to Pawtucket.

"I thought he made some big pitches with his fastball," Farrell told reporters. "He gets a couple of called strikes looking. I thought he changed eye level with some fastballs, but a couple of pitches out over the plate. In an unforgiving ballpark such as that, it makes you pay for it. But I thought he made some big pitches. He was down in the strike zone more consistently than when he left here. Threw some fastballs in to some guys, both righties and lefties, which we had hoped to get accomplished. But in the end we're on the wrong side of it."

Kelly is scheduled to make his next start on Monday against the White Sox.

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