BOSTON — Chalk this one up to the bullpen.
Joe Kelly struggled through 116 pitches and five innings against the red-hot Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday night. Then, five relievers combined to throw four innings of two-hit ball for the first home win of the inning.
After hearing boos following Chris Davis‘ three-run ninth-inning homer in Monday’s home opener, Kimbrel struck out the side on 14 pitches in the ninth inning on Wednesday — closing out the end of Boston’s three-game losing streak as the Sox gear up for four weekend games against the Toronto Blue Jays.
When it was over, Kimbrel didn’t come out to meet the media, electing not to talk. That doesn’t lessen the significance of his first home save for his new team.
“He was dominant tonight, going up against the same guys he faced a couple of days ago,” said manager John Farrell. “A wipeout curve ball, when you’re considering a high 90s fastball with a high 80s type of curveball, it’s premium stuff.
“It’s nice to be able to go to him and lock down games.”