Steven Wright

Monday’s Red Sox-Angels Game 2 matchups: Steven Wright vs. Andrew Heaney

July 20, 2015 - 2:42 pm

For the second game of the Red Sox' doubleheader with the Angels on Monday evening, Steven Wright will make his first start since June 4 and his first appearance with the big club since June 20, facing off against sophomore pitcher Andrew Heaney. Boston's knuckleballer was most recently optioned to Pawtucket on July 5, making two starts in Triple-A and losing both. After giving up nine earned runs over 13 innings in that time, Wright came away with a 6.23 ERA before being called back up and getting assigned Monday's night game. In the majors this year, the 30-year-old has a 3-2 record with a 4.15 ERA, though as a starter alone he has a 1-2 mark and a slightly better 3.91 ERA. Additionally, batters are slashing .269/.348/.449 against Wright when he's pitched in relief but are posting a weaker .225/.250/.404 line when he's on the mound to begin the game. Before his latest stint with the PawSox, Wright had allowed at least one earned run in each of his past three showings for Boston, recording a 12.27 ERA through his most recent 3 2/3 major league innings. As a member of the rotation for the Red Sox this season, though, the righty has yet to surrender more than three earned runs and averages a little more than 5 2/3 innings per start. "Even at the time he was optioned out, he was throwing the ball well," manager John Farrell said. "The choice was to go to Joe Kelly last time, but with our approach to keep Justin Masterson in the bullpen, Steven was the next guy to come to us." One of Wright's four starts this season happened to be vs. the Angels, his first time seeing them in his big league career. He was able to toss 6 1/3 innings -- his longest outing of 2015 -- and gave up just two earned runs on four hits with one walk and two strikeouts, granting the Sox the opportunity to take an 8-3 win over the Halos. With that victory in the books, Wright has a 2.84 ERA against the Angels with a 0.789 WHIP and an opponent slash line of .274/.208/.261. Heaney has yet to test his stuff against the Red Sox, pitching opposite just nine clubs in his young career. The 24-year-old was acquired by the Angels after the Marlins traded him as part of a package to the Dodgers in December 2014 to get Dan Haren, Dee Gordon and Miguel Rojas. Just a few hours later, Heaney was dealt by the Dodgers to Anaheim for Howie Kendrick. This year, the southpaw has been filling in for the injured Jered Weaver and has no doubt impressed in the meantime. Like Wright, Heaney has four starts this year, but each one of them has been quality caliber, as he hasn't conceded more than two earned runs in any of them. He hasn't needed to be pulled before completing six innings of work, either, and hasn't hurled fewer than seven full frames since his first outing on June 24. Through 27 1/3 innings, Heaney has a 3-0 record and a 1.32 ERA, striking out 23 and walking four. His 19 total hits allowed also contribute to his 0.84 WHIP. In his last time out on July 12, Heaney held the Mariners scoreless through seven innings while giving up five hits and striking out six, issuing just one walk. Batters are hitting .194 against him. "Any time a young player comes up and does well, you earn either more at-bats if you're swinging well or more innings if you're pitching well," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said following Heaney's most recent start. "There's no doubt that Andrew's thrown the ball at a level that we need and hopefully he'll keep it up." Red Sox vs. Heaney (LHP) No current members of the Red Sox have faced Heaney. Angels vs. Wright (RHP) Erick Aybar (3 plate appearances): .333 AVG/.333 OBP/.333 SLG Kole Calhoun (3): .333/.333/.667, 1 double, 2 RBIs David Freese (3): .000/.000/.000 Matt Joyce (3): .500/.667/.500, 1 walk Albert Pujols (3): .333/.333/.667, 1 double Johnny Giavotella (2): .000/.000/.000 Mike Trout has one strikeout in three plate appearances against Wright, and Carlos Perez has one K in two plate appearances.