BOSTON — Joe Kelly clearly showed he was ready to come back.
Kelly pitched no-hit ball for 6 2/3 innings in his first start since a month on the disabled list, Mookie Betts had a grand slam and a solo homer, and the Boston Red Sox beat the Cleveland Indians 9-1 on Saturday.
“I just felt super strong out there,” Kelly said. “All the work I’ve been putting in since I went out on the DL in getting the shoulder stronger in the training room, it was good to go out there and not even think about it.”
Jackie Bradley Jr. extended his majors’ best hitting streak to 26 games with an infield single. Dom DiMaggio owns the Red Sox record with a 34-game string in 1949.
“If it’s meant to end, it’s meant to end,” Bradley said when asked if there’s pressure.
Kelly (2-0) came off the 15-day DL earlier in the day after being out with a right shoulder impingement since April 20. He shut down the Indians until Juan Uribe broke up the no-hit bid with a double to the right-center gap with two outs in the seventh.
The right-hander knew his time on the mound was running low with the pitch total rising. Manager John Farrell immediately pulled him at 104 pitches after the hit. He left to a long loud ovation.
“I saw my pitch count climbing up. I’m not stupid,” he said. “I tried to get first-pitch outs because I knew I wasn’t going to be out there much longer. I threw a fastball down the middle. He put a good swing on it.”
Farrell said Kelly was coming out after seven.
Relying mostly on fastballs in the mid-to-upper 90s mph with an occasional curveball and slider, Kelly struck out seven and walked three.
“You know he’s got a really good arm, as you can see,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “And then he started getting comfortable out of the windup, started throwing breaking balls even when he was down in the count, which makes it really tough.”
Carlos Santana homered for the Indians, who had won a season-best five in a row.
Both of Betts’ homers went into the first row of Green Monster seats. His slam made it 9-0 in the seventh, and solo shot came in the fourth.
Boston has homered in a club-record 21 straight games.
Bradley made a diving catch of Marlon Byrd‘s line drive a pitch before Uribe’s hit.
Trevor Bauer (3-2) gave up four runs in five-plus innings.
“Keep the team in it – that was the goal,” he said. “Unfortunately we weren’t able to score today.”
Bradley reached after second baseman Jason Kipnis made a diving stab on his grounder up the middle and threw high to first, taking Santana off the bag.