BOSTON --- Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts and starter Joe Kelly both left Friday's 5-3 loss to the Mariners earlier than expected. The reason for one exit was originally a little more obvious than the other, though.
Bogaerts came out in the sixth after being hit in the head with a Felix Hernandez changeup in the fifth. Kelly left with what he called "a minor tweak" in his shoulder after just five innings, but said he expects to make his next start, which would be Wednesday in Toronto. Tests didn't reveal any serious issue, but Kelly said he had never felt that sensation in his shoulder before and came out for precautionary reasons.
"I told the training staff and medical staff that I want to go my next start. I truly believe that I can go," Kelly said. "More than anything, you don't want to go out there and pitch hurt. It was more precautionary. That term is kind of loosely used, but I honestly believe I'll be able to make my next start."
Bogaerts, however, said he isn't sure whether he'll play Saturday after undergoing tests for a concussion Friday. He'll await the results of that examination and will be reevaluated Saturday.
Hernandez hit Bogaerts in the side of the helmet with an 88-mph changeup in the fifth. The 0-2 pitch caught him on the ear flap, coming close to his cheek.
"It was a changeup that just got away," Hernandez said. "It was pretty sad, but I told him I'm sorry and he said, 'No, I'm fine.'"
Bogaerts was on the ground for nearly a minute, but ran the bases following his at-bat and played the field in the sixth before Brock Holt was called on to pinch-hit in the bottom of that frame.
"I didn't feel any dizziness or stuff like that. Once I started going out on the field, I went to play defense and [Dustin Pedroia] was looking at me like 'Am I OK?'" Bogaerts said. "I was kinda -- couldn't focus. Lost a little bit of focus."
Kelly, meanwhile, was in the midst of his best start as a member of the Red Sox when he began feeling some discomfort in the fifth inning. After he threw a curveball well off the plate to Mike Zunino, manager John Farrell and the training staff went to check on Kelly. He remained in the game and struck out Zunino before issuing two walks, but eventually got Austin Jackson to pop out to second to end the inning.
That pitch to Jackson was the last Kelly threw. He allowed just one hit and three walks while fanning five over five frames and 88 pitches. Craig Breslow came on for Kelly in the sixth.
Kelly lost command of his fastball in his first three starts with Boston, walking 13 batters while fanning just nine over 17 innings. Friday was a big step in the right direction, even if it got cut short.
"To pitch at this level, you have to have good fastball command. That's what I try to focus on as much as I can in between starts and it's still a work in progress," he said. "It's still not exactly where I want to be. But it definitely was a lot better tonight, and I think we executed on both sides of the plate by not staying in one location with the fastball tonight."
Steven Petrella is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less