PHILADELPHIA — Wade Miley has faced the Yankees once in his career, on April 17, 2013. Then a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks, the lefthander took a shutout into the seventh inning.
The moment did not leave much of an impression on him, however.
“Did we win?” Miley asked on Thursday. “I don’t remember much.”
Arizona lost, giving up the winning run in the eighth inning after Miley left the game. CC Sabathia got the win and Mariano Rivera the save.
Miley is seeking a better outcome on Friday night when he makes his Red Sox debut in a start against the Yankees. Manager John Farrell pushed Miley back to the fourth spot in the rotation to take advantage of a lefty pitching at Yankee Stadium against a lineup with a lot of lefty hitters.
Miley said the idea of joining baseball’s greatest rivalry wasn’t really a big deal to him. He’s simply eager to pitch in a game that counts.
“I’m excited to finally get out there and have an opportunity to compete,” he said.
Miley was obtained from Arizona in December then signed to a three-year, $19.25 million extension that includes a team option for 2018. The Sox believe the 28-year-old is ready to blossom.
“A guy that’s going to throw multiple pitches for strikes. The pace to which he works was known and evident. We saw that [in spring training],” Farrell said.
Miley, with the encouragement of the Sox, threw more curveballs in spring training instead of relying on his slider as a breaking pitch. That gives him a fourth pitch and more versatility.
“He hasn’t pitched a game in the American League. Hopefully it’s a win-win,” Farrell said. “We’ve got him for another three years. I know this: In the short amount of time we’ve had him, he doesn’t fear contact, he likes to work quick and throws strikes. That’s a pretty good recipe.”
The Red Sox will have Sandy Leon catch Miley. Ryan Hanigan has started the first three games behind the plate.
The Yankees will start Nathan Eovaldi in the first game of the series. It will be his debut with New York after being acquired from Miami.
Switch to Kelly
On Wednesday, Farrell said that Steven Wright would start likely against the Yankees Saturday. Now the switch has been made to Joe Kelly.
Kelly pitched well in a bullpen session Wednesday, and the Sox decided to make the switch. Kelly had been lined up to make a rehabilitation start for Single A Greenville.
“It looks like he’ll be ready to go by Saturday,” Farrell said.
Kelly is on the disabled list with a strained right biceps, and Wright made the team out of spring training as a result. But Kelly is eligible to be activated Saturday.
Kelly threw five innings and 78 pitches in a minor league intrasquad game Monday in Fort Myers, Fla., and has not pitched against major league competition since March 16, the day he was injured. In three spring training starts, Kelly threw 7⅓ innings and allowed 9 runs on 17 hits.
Kelly may only be able to give the Sox 85-90 pitches but Farrell isn’t concerned at this stage of the season.
“[Wednesday] was another positive step for him,” the manager said. “Let’s take that next step here.”
Kelly faced the Yankees twice last season, allowing seven runs on 14 hits over 14 innings. He struck out nine and walked six.
Uehara feels good
Koji Uehara threw 20 pitches in a simulated game at Fluor Field in Greenville, S.C., and is set up to make a rehab appearance for the Drive against Augusta on Saturday night.
The closer, who is on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring, has thrown without discomfort for about a week now. The tentative plan is for him to be activated for Monday’s home opener against the Nationals.
“We’ll take it one outing at a time,” Farrell said. “We’re not ruling out the possibility.”
Uehara used Twitter to give an update. “I feel good,” he wrote.
One positive for the Red Sox in Wednesday’s 4-2 loss was the work of Alexi Ogando in the eighth inning.
He retired the three batters he faced with a fastball that ranged from 93-95 miles per hour on a cold and rainy night. Ogando has regained his velocity after an injury-filled 2014 season.
“That was a clean, crisp inning,” Farrell said. “As cold as it was and as thin as he is, I don’t know if the cold was blowing right through him or not. It was an impressive inning for him.”
Honor for Bresciani
The Red Sox will name the press box at Fenway Park in honor of the late Dick Bresciani before Tuesday’s game. Bresciani, who died in November, had a 42-year career with the team in public relations. A private ceremony will be held before the game that will include members of Bresciani’s family . . . The Red Sox beat the Phillies in five games in the 1915 World Series. Nonetheless, the Phillies decided to commemorate the event on Thursday by having a man dressed as President Woodrow Wilson throw out a first pitch from the stands to the Philly Phanatic mascot . . . There was a moment of silence before the game in memory of longtime Philadelphia sports writer Stan Hochman, who died on Thursday at age 86 . . . The Red Sox have planted a rooftop garden behind the Gate A façade at Fenway Park. The vegetables and herbs will be used in meals prepared at the park . . . Single A Salem opened its season with a 6⅓ -inning no-hitter against Carolina. In a game stopped by rain, Jake Dahlstrand went six innings. He walked two and struck out four. Joe Gunkel started the seventh inning and got one out before the game was called. It was the 11th no-hitter in franchise history.