In command: Miley strikes out season-high nine

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BOSTON - Wade Miley didn't have his command last week in Toronto. This week? He was in command from the beginning.

After walking a career-high seven batters in his last start, Miley responded with a season-high nine strikeouts in Tuesday's 4-3 win over the Marlins. The last time he struck out nine batters? Last August against these very same Marlins.

"I was just getting ahead of guys for the most part," Miley said of his outing. "Had pretty good fastball command on both sides of the plate. My breaking ball was good when I needed it and it was a good win."

Miley threw first-pitch strikes to 20 of the 29 batters he faced. In 6.2 innings, he threw 107 pitches, 71 for strikes. He induced just three fly-ball outs, matching his lowest of the season dating back to his very first start.

"The slider was probably the best its been all year for me," Miley said. "I'm not sure why. I don't know what I did differently or if I did anything differently. It was coming out harder and it was keeping the tilt. But [Ryan Hanigan] did a great job staying back there with me and recognizing that it was going to be a good pitch for me tonight and kept calling it."

Miley had cruised through the first six innings, allowing just one run before J.T. Realmuto doubled to lead off the inning and Cole Gillespie singled him home. When Christian Yelich doubled in Gillespie to make it 3-1, that was it for Miley, who left the game on a bit of a sour note.

"Wade's performance tonight was a very strong one," John Farrell said. "After a game in Toronto in which he battled his command, I thought he was sharp tonight. He had a very good fastball. They attack him early in that 7th inning for the two runs and [Junichi Tazawa] comes in and gets a quick out, enables him to go back out for the [8th] after we take the lead."

Xander Bogaerts made sure to bail out Miley and the Sox in the bottom of that inning, hitting a bases-clearing single that gave the Sox the lead back. That undoubtedly lifted Miley's spirits, who aside from that 7th inning was pleased with his outing.

"Yeah, I feel really good," Miley said. "Made a couple mistakes there but Bogey, huge situation comes up and gets a huge hit for us. I mean, he's been doing it all year."

Miley didn't factor into the decision but has now thrown more than 6.0 innings with three earned runs or less in six straight starts at Fenway Park.

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