Henry Owens called up to start Sunday night for Red Sox

HOUSTON -- The pitching carousel continues to spin for the Boston Red Sox.

For the fourth time in six days, the Red Sox have made at least one roster move that will impact their struggling pitching staff. Left-hander Henry Owens was called up from Triple-A while hard-throwing righty reliever Pat Light also was summoned from Pawtucket. Lefty Roenis Elias and right-hander Noe Ramirez were optioned to Triple-A.

Owens will start Sunday night against the Houston Astros (8 p.m., ESPN). He's taking the place of right-hander Joe Kelly, who suffered a right shoulder impingement in the first inning Tuesday night at Fenway Park.

Since Tuesday, the Sox have added and subtracted Ramirez, Elias and right-hander William Cuevas from the bullpen. They also have called up right-hander Heath Hembree, in addition to Light. In 17 games, they have used 10 different relievers.

The Red Sox continue to carry 13 pitchers, one more than usual. Owens can help remedy that situation by going six or seven innings against the Astros. Because of the ineffectiveness of the starters, the bullpen has been forced to work 60 2/3 innings, second-most in the American League behind only the Oakland Athletics entering play Sunday.

Owens, 23, was in the mix in spring training for the No. 5 starter job, which was won by knuckleballer Steven Wright. Owens had a 1.00 ERA in three Triple-A starts despite walking 10 batters in 18 innings.

Control has been Owens' bugaboo throughout his career. He made his big-league debut last season, going 4-4 with a 4.57 ERA and allowing 62 hits and 24 walks in 63 innings over 11 starts.

"I work on my mechanics every day, trying to keep them fluid and trying to keep the same rhythm, same pace, everything, tempo," Owens said. "I've locked in now, and we'll see where it goes."

Elias, also a starter in Triple-A, was called up Friday to give the Red Sox multiple innings out of the bullpen. He allowed three runs in the eighth inning of Saturday's 8-3 loss to the Astros.

Light has a 4.05 ERA, 10 strikeouts and three walks in 6 2/3 innings for Pawtucket.