Miller struggles with control in adjustment stage

Miller struggles with control in adjustment stage
April 21, 2013, 11:30 pm
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BOSTON -- Andrew Miller believes that walks are unacceptable. Especially when the bases are loaded.

That's why he's taking the blame for Sunday night's 5-4 extra-innings loss to the Kansas City Royals at Fenway Park.

In the second game of a day-night double-header, Miller allowed the game-winning run in the top of the 10th, when he walked Lorenzo Cain on four pitches while the bases were juiced, scoring Alex Gordon to make it 5-4.

"I didn't throw enough strikes," said Miller afterwards. "I waked those two guys. The singles, I'll take. If you're throwing the ball over the plate and getting, whether it's weak contact or singles, you can deal with that. But giving free passes is unacceptable. And I'm doing it way too much."

Miller struck out Miguel Tejada to start the inning. But then he gave up a Gordon single and walked Alcides Escobar.

Miller bounced right back by striking out Billy Butler, but then gave up an infield single to Eric Hosmer to load the bases, which led to Cain's base on balls.

"Inconsistent strikes," said Red Sox manager John Farrell, when asked about Miller in the 10th. "I thought he made a couple of good pitches to Butler to get the strikeout. And then with the bases loaded, obviously the bases loaded-walk. But he kept it there, and unfortunately, we weren't able to do anything against Holland."

Miller picked up his first loss of the season, and has now allowed a run in each of his last two innings in his last two games.

He said after Sunday night's loss that he's made some adjustments to his game, and that he actually felt better against the Royals than his last few appearances. But he just couldn't execute.

"I actually felt pretty good tonight," said Miller. "I lost those two hitters. I'm not doing my job. And I know that, right now the way I'm throwing the ball, that guys are going to work counts and see pitches. I've got to be more aggressive in the strike zone. I'm not doing that, and I've got to pick up the slack on my end. Because everybody else is doing a great job. I'm just not my part.

"Honestly, I felt way better tonight, than I did the other night. I think you go through stages where you kind of make adjustments throughout the season. I'm clearly in one right now. But I felt good tonight. I felt like my stuff was there, and I felt like, generally, I was ahead of guys, except for those two hitters. I lost a guy with the bases loaded on four pitches. It's tough, and I've got to do a better job. I'm working on it."