Sea Dogs win in New Britain – Kelly makes Double-A debut

Casey Kelly goes two innings in Double-A debut…Ken Lipshez covered the game for the Portland Press Herald Below is his story.
Post-Game soundbytes from Casey Kelly – kellyonfirststart.mp3kellyonfastball.mp3


Staff Writer

NEW BRITAIN – New Britain got its first look at Red Sox prodigy Casey Kelly even if was just a passing glance.  Kelly, Boston’s first-round choice in the 2008 draft, hurled just two innings and he was fortunate he went that far after a sharp hit to the box glanced off his glove in the first inning.

Kelly’s replacement Eammon Portice, employing his best Luis Tiant back-to-the-hitter impression, looked more the hot prospect.  Portice tossed four innings of two-hit ball and Ray Chang drove in three runs with a pair of doubles Monday night as the Portland Sea Dogs extended the Rock Cats’ season-opening losing streak to four with an 8-2 win before 3,964 at New Britain Stadium.

Since Kelly started his professional career as a shortstop, the Red Sox have approached his transition with caution. The plan was to limit him to 50 pitches but he was removed after 45. He yielded an unearned run on three hits, walked one and struck out two.

“I felt good out there,” Kelly said. “I threw my fastball in the zone and I threw my breaking pitches for strikes, too.”

Portice (1-0) retired 11 straight hitters until Chris Parmelee rocketed an 0-2 pitch over the wall with two out in the sixth inning. He yielded a single to Joe Benson before retiring the side and turning the ball over to left-hander Andrew Dobies.

For the fourth time in four games, the Rock Cats (0-4) were in a hole before they could swing a bat. The Sea Dogs (2-3) took starter Deolis Guerra (0-1) to the woodshed, pounding out five hits and scoring four runs.

Ryan Kalish led off with a single and scooted to third on a one-out hit by Nate Spears. Luis Exposito lofted a sacrifice fly for the second out but Yamaico Navarro doubled high off the left-field wall and Chang followed with RBI doubles. Jose Iglesias looped an RBI single to right to give the Sea Dogs a 4-0 start.

“It’s not easy playing from behind all the time,” Rock Cats manager Jeff Smith said. “It really takes away a little identity of your ballclub in terms of what you’d like to do. You can’t always be as aggressive as you want to be when you’re always behind like that.”

The Rock Cats have now yielded 12 first-inning runs.

Red Sox Nation emitted a collective sigh in the New Britain first when Rene Tosoni hit a bullet back to the box that careened off Kelly’s glove and into left field, but he retired the side, stranding runners on first and third.

“Thank God I got my glove on it,” Kelly said. “It was past me before I even knew what was happening. I kind of hit the ground and asked myself, ‘Is anything hurt?’ It was a good thing that didn’t hit me.”

“The first inning challenged me. I got a couple runners on base but it’s good to get into the stretch and feel that pressure of guys in scoring position.”

The Rock Cats reached Kelly for a run in the second. Benson (2-for-3) worked him for a leadoff walk and took second on an error by shortstop Iglesias. Ben Revere’s infield hit loaded the bases and Benson scored on a wild pitch.

New Britain reciprocated by allowing its seventh unearned run of the season in the fourth. Iglesias reached on Juan Portes’ boot at third and cruised home on a triple by Jason Place, and Portland recouped its four-run advantage.

Portland blew it open with a three-run seventh. Exposito drove in hi
s second run of the night with a single and Chang plated a pair with a double.

Red Sox Update 1:50 PM – Daisuke Matsuzaka is scheduled to make his 2nd rehab start with Pawtucket on Thursday at Buffalo
Good morning from New Britain.  The Sea Dogs lost the final three games in Reading and begin a 3-game set against the Rock Cats on Monday night.  Right-hander Casey Kelly makes his Double-A debut for the Sea Dogs.
Kelly (pictured below) was a first round pick by the Red Sox in the 2008 June draft.  He attended Sarasota High School in Florida.  The last two seasons, Kelly has been playing shortstop and pitching, this season he will be a full-time pitcher.

kelly.jpgReading rewind:  The Phillies scored 16 of 22 runs in the series with two outs.  Their roster features some veteran players and those guys killed the Sea Dogs in the final three games.  Tagg Bozied knocked in 5 runs with two outs yesterday, he a majority of last season in Triple-A Indianapolis.  Michael Spidale had seven hits in the series and Brandon Pinckney hit .467 for the series.  In my opinion, playing those type of teams is a good thing for developing.  I’m sure guys like Stephen Fife, Kyle Weiland and Robert Coello have never faced guys near their 30’s during a regular season game.New Britain use to be…the Double-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox.  On Wednesday, Dennis “Oil Can” Boyd threw out the first pitch at New Britain Stadium.  The Rock Cats use to play at the beehive, a very tough place to hit a home run.Well, enjoy your day, I’ll check back later.


Any word if Dice-K will be up in Portland for the opening series?

Haven’t heard anything…I’m sure we’ll hear about it through blogs and websites…I’m usually the last person to find anything out…ha ha!

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