Wade Miley

Sunday's Red Sox Angels matchups: Wade Miley vs. Hector Santiago

May 24, 2015 - 5:18 am

The Red Sox send red-hot Wade Miley to the bump Sunday as they look to put together back-to-back wins against the Angels. Though Miley carries a meager 3-4 record and 5.10 ERA, of late he has shown the stuff that earned him a three-year, $19.25 million deal this past offseason. In his last two starts Miley is 2-0 with a 1.32 ERA. During these two starts, the left-hander has kept his opponents' on-base percentage under .300 at .293. Despite some help from a .267 opponent BABIP, Miley deserves credit from lowering his foes' line drive rate to a measly 16 percent. Miley's improvement was especially prominent in his latest outing against the Rangers. The former first-round pick tossed seven innings of two-run ball, striking out seven and walking one. An especially encouraging facet of this start was Miley's ability to pound the strike zone. In previous outings this season, Miley struggled with locating his pitches. However, in the 4-3 victory last Tuesday, Miley threw 68 of his 106 pitches for strikes, helping him achieve his second-highest game score of the campaign (62). "First of all, seven innings, two runs, he pitched as well as we have seen of late," manager John Farrell said. "He's made big pitches with men in scoring position. This is probably four starts consecutively now where he'€™s really attacking the strike zone and thrown a number of pitches in some quality areas, particularly his fastball down in the zone. And he'€™s working at a pace that I think is comfortable for him but not too quick and is dictating the tempo from the mound." Thus far, Miley has struggled at Fenway Park, posting a 6.61 ERA and striking out just 6.1 batters per nine within the friendly confines in three home starts this year. He will look to turn this trend around against an Angels squad he has never faced before. Dueling Miley for the Angels will be fellow left-hander Hector Santiago. Santiago, who joined the Angels prior to 2014 after spending his first three major league seasons with the White Sox, holds a 3.38 career ERA. This season he has elevated his game, notching a 3-2 record and a 2.25 ERA. Santiago's biggest strength this season has been his ability to strand runners. Although he owns a 1.22 WHIP and has walked 21 batters in 48 innings pitched, the Bloomfield, New Jersey, native has stranded 87 percent of baserunners. This figure is 11.1 percent higher than his 2014 strand rate, and this paired with his 4.09 FIP indicate that he has been helped by a healthy amount of luck and some good fielding behind him. Despite his good fortune, one cannot argue with the impressiveness of Santiago's past three starts. In his last 19 1/3 innings of work, the 27-year-old has struck out 18 while allowing just two earned runs. Opponents have slashed a miserable .176/.250/.235 over this span. "He's just filling up the zone with four pitches," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said after Santiago's last start, a 3-2 win over the Blue Jays on Sunday in which he allowed one earned run in seven innings. Santiago has only made two appearances at Fenway Park, both of which did not go as planned for the southpaw. In 6 2/3 innings at Fenway, Santiago has given up six earned runs and has issued six free passes. He will look to reverse these woes and earn his team another series victory when he toes the rubber Sunday. Angels vs. Miley (LHP) David Freese (6 plate appearances): .600 AVG/.667 OBP/.600 SLG, 1 walk Chris Iannetta (6): .600/.667/.600, 1 RBI Johnny Giavotella (4): .000/.000/.000, 2 strikeouts No other Angels have faced Miley. Red Sox vs. Santiago (LHP) Mike Napoli (9): .000/.556/.000, 5 walks, 3 strikeouts Dustin Pedroia (9): .429/.556/.857, 3 doubles, 2 walks David Ortiz (6): .400/.500/.400, 4 RBIs Daniel Nava (4): .000/.000/.000, 2 strikeouts Brock Holt (3): .333/.333/.333 Hanley Ramirez (3): .333/.333/.333 Shane Victorino is 2-for-2 in three plate appearances vs. Santiago. Xander Bogaerts is 0-for-2 in two plate appearances vs. Santiago. No other Red Sox have faced Santiago.