ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Red Sox reliever Andrew Miller was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a left foot injury and will fly back to Boston on Sunday night for further tests. The team recalled right-hander Alfredo Aceves from Triple-A Pawtucket to fill his roster spot.
X-rays came back negative on the top of Miller’s foot, but he woke up Sunday morning with continued soreness, he said. Miller, the team’s top left-hander out of the bullpen, was injured in Saturday night’s 9-7 loss to the Los Angeles Angels in 11 innings, falling to the ground as he broke to cover home plate following a single up the middle by J.B. Shuck.
Miller is 1-2 with a 2.64 ERA this season, limiting right-handers to a .155 batting average. He has a 1.31 ERA in his last 21 appearances with 30 strikeouts in 20 2/3 innings over that span.
“As well as he has pitched, a power left-hander in the bullpen, there’s not too many of those types available to us,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said before his team played the Angels in the finale of their three-game series.
Farrell said he hopes right-handers Andrew Bailey and Junichi Tazawa can fill the void as set-up men for closer Koji Uehara. Bailey, who was removed from the closer role, is beginning to gain Farrell's trust after stringing together two solid performances, including 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief following Miller’s injury. Bailey had allowed seven earned runs in three innings in his last five appearances in June.
Tazawa has been solid against left-handers, limiting them to a .247 batting average.
Either pitcher might be called on in the closer’s role Sunday night as Farrell said he’s not planning to use Uehara, who suffered his third blown save in Saturday’s loss. He entered with the bases loaded and two outs in the ninth and the Red Sox holding a four-run lead, but gave up run-scoring singles to Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton before the Angels tied the score on a throwing error by third baseman Brandon Snyder.
The Angels won the game on a two-run homer by Hamilton in the 11th.
“We need to stay away from him tonight,” Farrell said of Uehara. “Not because of anything he feels, but just because of frequency of use.”
Uehara has pitched four of the last five days. He entered in a non-save situation Friday night because he was already loose when Mike Napoli hit a solo homer with two outs in the ninth to extend the lead to 6-2. On Saturday, it appeared Uehara would get the night off, but Alex Wilson couldn’t record the final three outs.
Craig Breslow, the only left-hander remaining in the bullpen, also is unavailable Sunday night after throwing 22 pitches Saturday, the last leaving the park on Hamilton’s game-winner.
Aceves is 4-1 with a 5.05 ERA in 35 2/3 innings with the Red Sox this season. The 30-year-old was recalled from Pawtucket to make spot starts on June 12 and June 18, both against the Tampa Bay Rays. He’ll be used for both middle and late relief for the remainder of the 10-game road trip leading up to the All-Star break, Farrell said.