FORT MYERS, Fla. — Joe Kelly allowed one run and five hits in seven innings, helping the Boston Red Sox beat a New York Mets split squad 4-1 on Thursday.

Kelly kept the Mets hitless until the fifth, when he gave up three singles. He struck out six and walked one, throwing 49 of 75 pitches for strikes.

“It feels good to be efficient like that,” Kelly said. “Obviously, it makes it a lot easier to go deeper in the ballgames, and today I felt like what I’ve been saying lately, just trying to pitch more than throw. Threw some good offspeed pitches and came back in counts when I fell behind to get outs quick. They put some good swings on some balls and hit some balls pretty hard today. With guys on base, just try to just manage and obviously try not to let them score but still be efficient.”

David Ortiz singled home the go-ahead run in the sixth, his second RBI of spring training. Xander Bogaerts hit a solo homer and a sacrifice fly.

Mets starter Logan Verrett allowed two hits in four scoreless innings. New York pitcher Erik Goeddel made his first appearance following a lat injury. He allowed two runs in one inning, including Bogaerts’ first home run in exhibition play.

Third baseman Pablo Sandoval has lower back stiffness and was not in Boston’s starting lineup.

Sandoval was injured diving for a ball off the bat of Miami’s Giancarlo Stanton on Tuesday.

“He is going to be down for a couple of days, just trying to get back to that,” Red Sox Manager John Farrell said. “So he’s going to be unavailable – on a day-to-day status right now.”

Farrell said he does not think Sandoval will require a stint on the disabled list.

Sandoval, listed as 5-foot-11 and 255 pounds, appeared to be overweight when he reported for spring training last month. The Red Sox said they were not concerned and principal owner John Henry said Sandoval’s body fat ratio was 17 percent, down from 21 percent last season.

Kelly started camp as the leading candidate for the fifth spot in the rotation but has moved up the depth chart, partly because of an injury to No. 4 starter Eduardo Rodriguez. He has pitched 20 innings, giving up three runs, 18 hits and six walks with 17 strikeouts.

“He threw the ball exceptional today,” Farrell said.

Right-hander Heath Hembree and left-handers Brian Johnson and Henry Owens were optioned from Boston to Triple-A Pawtucket.

Outfielder Ryan LaMarre, right-hander Roman Mendez, and first baseman Sam Travis were reassigned to minor league camp.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.