Vicente Padilla, Andrew Miller Continue to Shine as Unsung Heroes of Red Sox Bullpen


Vicente Padilla, Andrew Miller Continue to Shine as Unsung Heroes of Red Sox BullpenThe Red Sox may be losing depth in the outfield, but they're locked and loaded in the bullpen.

Amid Clay Buchholz' shaky outing ?? he only lasted 5 1/3 innings ?? the bullpen shined by outdueling the Orioles bullpen en route to a 8-6 win. The unsung heroes of the group this time around were Andrew Miller and Vicente Padilla.

With little warm-up time, Miller took the mound in relief of Buchholz and thrived in his newfound role, throwing 1 2/3 scoreless innings while fanning two batters. It marked Miller's eighth straight scoreless appearance since getting recalled from Pawtucket.

Part of the reliever's success can be attributed to the eliminating of his windup. He's pitched primarily from the stretch, a key in his transition from starting to relief duty. In retrospect, he's appreciative for his extended time in Triple-A this season.

"The main thing for me was just getting used to relieving," Miller said on Saturday in Philadelphia. "I've never really relieved regularly, so really all I wanted to do was make sure I was healthy and from that point on, basically adapt to getting hot quick and pitching on back-to-back days.

"I like it. It's a good adrenaline rush. It's been nice to be prepared to pitch everyday and not have long breaks between outings as I used to have as a starter."

It's turned into the ideal fit for Miller. In eight innings of work, he's surrendered just three hits and racked up 10 strikeouts.

On Monday, Padilla followed up Miller ?? with Rich Hill sandwiched in the middle ?? in the eighth inning. When Padilla entered for Hill, the Nicaraguan native inherited two base runners, both of who were in scoring position.

Despite pitching for the third consecutive day, Padilla prevented the Red Sox from enduring further damage once again, getting Wilson Betemit to fly out while striking out Nick Johnson.

His body of work is earning admirers by the minute, from Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine to catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

"I think the fact he's been in the game so long, he's able to [be successful,]" Saltalamacchia said during the Sox' series in Philly. "I've always know him as a starter. He's been effective as a starter. You just need to give him a little more time in that bullpen role. They need to warm up a little more and they've been doing a good job of that."

During his 17 appearances this season, Padilla has inherited 15 base runners upon entering in relief. Under his watch, the reliever hasn't allowed a single runner to score and notched his ninth hold of the season.

And the bullpen just keeps on rolling.

Have a question for Didier Morais? Send it to him via Twitter at @DidierMorais or send it here. He will pick a few questions to answer every week for his mailbag.

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