MLB Team Report - Boston Red Sox - INSIDE PITCH

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Boston Red Sox pitcher Steven Wright has been mystifying big league hitters with his knuckleball in three long relief appearances since his Sept. 1 call up.

Red Sox manager John Farrell hinted Sunday that Wright could get a start before the season ends.

Wright threw three scoreless innings Saturday against the Kansas City Royals. On Sept. 7 against the Toronto Blue Jays, Wright threw five innings, striking out nine.

Whether Wright is a starter or reliever in future seasons is still up in the air.

"I just want to be on the team. That's what my ultimate goal is -- to be in the major leagues," Wright said. "I want to do whatever I can to do to make it a hard decision for them. And then whatever the situation is, I can't control where they send me.

"All I can do is make sure I'm prepared when I go out there and be as effective as I can. I definitely don't try to think about it. Whatever happens, happens."

Wright, who began the season on the disabled list while recovering from hernia surgery, went 5-5 with a 3.41 ERA while holding opponents to a .240 batting average in 15 starts with Triple-A Pawtucket this season. He has a 0.75 ERA and limited big league hitters to a .214 average in 12 innings this September, while walking one and striking out 12.

"I definitely feel more comfortable than I was last year," Wright said. "I still have a lot to learn with (the knuckleball), but what I've done this year compared to what I've done last year, I think I'm definitely going in the right direction."


MLB Team Report - Boston Red Sox - NOTES, QUOTES

RECORD: 66-84

STREAK: Won one

NEXT: Tuesday -- Red Sox (RHP Anthony Ranaudo, 3-2, 5.40 ERA) at Pirates (RHP Charlie Morton, 5-12, 3.84 ERA)


--DH David Ortiz was removed for a pinch hitter in the seventh inning. "He's fine," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "He got called away from this game. There was a family emergency that he had to attend to and he jumped on a flight late this afternoon. He should catch up with us (Tuesday) in Pittsburgh."

--RHP Joe Kelly gave up five consecutive hits and four runs to start the second inning, but held the Royals hitless after that before being pulled after 99 pitches and six innings. "Besides that inning, I was happy with the way I battled back," Kelly said. "I was trying to get through as many innings as I could and keep the score the same. I wish I had a mulligan."

--2B Xander Bogaerts stroked three hits, including a three-run homer, and drove in a career best four runs. He is hitting .377 with seven multi-hit games and four home runs and 11 RBIs in his past 15 games. "I'm trying to go up there and get a good pitch to hit and not miss it," Bogaerts said. "I'm trying to end the season strong. I'm trying to let it loose, instead of always staying within myself. I just try to go out and get one (home runs) sometime. I've been fortunate to get some."

--RF Daniel Nava hit his second career grand slam in the sixth inning to put the Red Sox ahead. It was not quite as exciting as his first grand slam, which was in his first big league at-bat on June 1, 2013. "There's nothing like the first at-bat," Nava said. "To transpire like it did was special. Any time you hit a home run it is special. But the first one holds a little more personal significance."