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Red Sox reliever Joe Kelly signs with Dodgers as free agent

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Red Sox reliever Joe Kelly signs with Dodgers as free agent

LAS VEGAS — The Fight Club is going west.

Former Red Sox reliever Joe Kelly has agreed to a three-year deal worth about $25 million with the Los Angeles Dodgers, a baseball source confirmed on Wednesday night, representing the first major departure from the 2018 World Series-winning Sox and, at a late hour, some action at the winter meetings at last. The 30-year-old Kelly had a 4.33 ERA in five seasons with the Sox, joining the team via trade as a starting pitcher in 2014 before transitioning full-time to the bullpen in 2017.

Kelly is a southern California native, so joining the Dodgers is a homecoming. He threw six innings with no earned runs allowed, 10 strikeouts and no walks in the World Series against the Dodgers. 

A fan favorite with a triple-digit fastball, Kelly endeared himself to Sox fans not only with a dominant showing in the 2018 playoffs, but by fighting Tyler Austin, then with the Yankees, during the regular season. 

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The news broke well after most on the East Coast had gone to sleep, a little before midnight local time. The winter meetings had been slow to that point. Earlier in the day, Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said he was unsure when the reliever market would begin to move. 

Another reliever, Jeurys Familia, reportedly agreed to a three-year deal with the Mets late Wednesday night as well.

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Brock Holt wearing patch to honor Dustin Pedroia, credits him for recent hot streak

Brock Holt wearing patch to honor Dustin Pedroia, credits him for recent hot streak

Since returning from the IL in late May, Brock Holt has been playing well.

In fact, that's an understatement. He has been red-hot.

In 14 games since returning to the lineup, Holt is hitting .396. He also clubbed his first homer of the season at Camden Yards on Friday night. Throughout this streak, Holt has been wearing a patch on his left arm to honor one of his teammates, and he believes that the patch is helping him to hit better.

“Dustin Pedroia right here,” he said to NESN's Guerin Austin about the patch (as transcribed by Lauren Campbell). “Little shoutout. I’ve been wearing it ever since he went back home. We’re always thinking about him. I’m obviously thinking about him. It actually might be the reason I’m doing so well is I’ve got a little bit of him with me. He’s part of our team still, no matter where he’s at.”

Pedroia was moved to the 60-day IL after suffering yet another setback in his return from a knee injury. He elected to stop rehabbing the injury to take time off. The team's long-time second baseman and former AL MVP has played in just nine games since the start of the 2018 season as he has been plagued by the malady.

It's nice to see Holt honor Pedroia, and it's also nice to see the bat come around again for Holt. He could once again prove to be a valuable piece for the Red Sox as the lefthanded part of the second base platoon and a utility option who can give other players days off.

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Red Sox lineup: Brian Johnson returns to the mound vs. Orioles

Red Sox lineup: Brian Johnson returns to the mound vs. Orioles

The Boston Red Sox will look to make it a clean sweep against the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday afternoon. They took the first two games of their three-game series by a combined score of 20-4 and will turn to their third straight lefty starter on Sunday in Brian Johnson.

Johnson has been sidelined since early April with an elbow injury, so his return to the rotation could provide a spark for the Sox. Last season as a spot starter, Johnson had a 4-3 record and a 4.15 ERA in 13 games as a starter. He was a solid fill-in at the back of the rotation, and that's something that the Red Sox have lacked in the absence of Nathan Eovaldi

Johnson's ERA this season isn't pretty (12.71), but that largely stems from a disastrous 1 1/3 inning outing against the Arizona Diamondbacks where he gave up seven earned runs. That was just before he was put on the IL, so he may have been dealing with the injury in that outing.

The Red Sox lineup looks pretty normal for Johnson's start. The only major notes are that J.D. Martinez will play left field while Andrew Benintendi sits. Eduardo Nunez will get the nod at DH while Marco Hernandez gets the nod at second base over the hot-hitting Brock Holt.

Here are the lineups for today's game at Camden Yards with first pitch scheduled for 1:05 p.m. ET.

BOSTON RED SOX 
Mookie Betts, RF
Christian Vazquez, C
J.D. Martinez, LF
Rafael Devers, 3B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
Michael Chavis, 1B
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Eduardo Nunez, DH
Marco Hernandez, 2B
--
Brian Johnson, LHP (1-0, 12.71 ERA)

BALTIMORE ORIOLES
Hanser Alberto, 3B
Trey Mancini, RF
Pedro Severino, C
Renato Nunez, DH
Anthony Santander, LF
Jonathan Villar, 2B
Chris Davis, 1B
Keon Broxton, CF
Richie Martin, SS
--
John Means, LHP (6-4, 2.60 ERA) 

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