- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 20, 2016

BOSTON (AP) - Joe Kelly’s early exit was the last thing the Boston Red Sox needed Tuesday night.

An already overtaxed bullpen was forced to spring into action in the first inning once Kelly departed 23 pitches into the game with a right shoulder impingement.

The bullpen did its part, keeping the Red Sox in the game, but the bats couldn’t get anything going in a 3-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays in 10 innings.

“They were efficient, they had good stuff, a lot of strikes,” Boston manager John Farrell said of his bullpen. “All of them threw the ball exceptionally well.”

Heath Hembree was the first of six relievers used by the Red Sox, tossing 3 1/3 scoreless innings while striking out four.

Hembree had just been called up from Triple-A Pawtucket before the game.

“When I come in that situation, I know I had to eat up some innings and kind of help the bullpen out,” he said. “I was just trying to get quality innings and go as far as I could.”

Boston got just one hit - a single by Jackie Bradley Jr. in the third inning. Rays starter Drew Smyly went eight innings and struck out 11 for the second straight game.

“He was good from pitch one to the last one,” Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts said of Smyly. “He was just mixing it up and keeping the ball out of the middle of the plate.”

Matt Barnes (1-1) took the loss in the tenth, serving up a solo home run to Kevin Kiermaier and a two-run, ground-rule double to Desmond Jennings after an error by third baseman Travis Shaw.

“I’ve got to make that play,” Shaw said. “It’s unacceptable. It did hop up, but still it wasn’t that crazy of a hop.”

Kelly faced just four batters, walking two, and left after the training staff visited the mound for the second time in the inning.

Farrell said a trip to the disabled list is likely for Kelly, who felt a pinching sensation in his shoulder but tried to battle through it.

“Anytime I tried to reach back and get a little bit more on anything, nothing was coming out right and just felt a little bit awkward,” Kelly said.

Erasmo Ramirez (3-0) threw a hitless ninth for Tampa Bay, and Alex Colome pitched the 10th for his second save.

Boston had its best chance in the third. Chris Young and Ryan Hanigan began the inning with consecutive walks, and then Bradley’s single loaded the bases. The Rays got a force out at home when Betts hit a sharp grounder right to third baseman Evan Longoria. The Red Sox still had the bases loaded for Dustin Pedroia, but Smyly got out of the jam by getting Pedroia to ground into a double play.

“We’re in a game where we get one opportunity in that third inning, where we’ve got bases loaded nobody out and can’t convert,” Farrell said.

CHEWED OUT

Farrell suggested some players are doing better than others with the ban on smokeless chewing tobacco in the city of Boston, including Fenway Park, that was implemented by Mayor Marty Walsh last year.

“I think there are guys that have probably handled it, or have - that are working on it maybe a little bit more with effect a little bit more than others,” Farrell said. “We know that it’s going to be an ongoing situation.”

MIGHTY MOOKIE STRIKES OUT (AGAIN)

Betts struck out twice and went 0 for 4. He leads the team with 16 strikeouts.

“I’m striking out a lot. I know it,” Betts said. “Hopefully I can figure something out here soon.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Red Sox: 3B Pablo Sandoval, on the 15-day DL with a strained left shoulder, felt “improved” Tuesday but was still a ways from returning to the lineup, manager John Farrell said. Sandoval went for a second opinion from Dr. James Andrews on Monday. “There’s nowhere near full range of motion, but there’s improvement,” Farrell said.

UP NEXT

Red Sox: RHP Rick Porcello (2-0, 5.11) allowed three earned runs on two hits over 6 1/3 innings against Toronto in his last start. Porcello also struck out eight and walked one against the Blue Jays on Friday.

Rays: RHP Chris Archer (0-3, 5.87) has lost his last six starts dating back to last season.

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