Toronto starter Justin Miller made headlines for his tattoos during the spring. Now, he’s starting to get some attention for his pitching as well.
Miller looks to turn in another strong performance as the Blue Jays resume a four-game series with the Boston Red Sox.
Miller earned his first win of the season Sunday, allowing just two earned runs and seven hits and striking out a career high-tying seven in seven innings of a 5-2 victory over the Chicago White Sox.
The win was Miller’s first since Sept. 28, 2002. The 26-year-old right-hander missed all of last season after undergoing shoulder surgery.
“Long time ago. Long time,” he said. “For me, the rehab was more painful mentally than physically. You have one physical setback, but until you go out there and pitch against live hitters, you don’t know what to expect.
“It definitely feels real good. I’m back to being 100 percent. It’s been a long road back, but I’m finally there.”
Miller, who has made three starts since being recalled from Triple-A Syracuse on April 25, was told by baseball this spring that he must wear long-sleeved shirts under his uniform when he pitches, because the tattoos on his arm are a distraction to hitters.
Miller has no visible tattoos on most of his right arm, but has the words “love” and “hate” on his knuckles. More than 50 percent of his body is covered by tattoos.
However, the Blue Jays probably won’t mind what he puts on his body as long as he continues to pitch the way he did Sunday.
“He’s been throwing the ball good, but he’s been running out of gas,” Toronto manager Carlos Tosca said. “He got himself through seven today and that was big for us. It set up our bullpen pretty good.”
The Blue Jays beat Curt Schilling and the Red Sox 12-6 on Thursday for their seventh win in nine games.
Orlando Hudson tied a franchise record with five runs scored, going 4-for-4 with a walk out of the leadoff spot. Carlos Delgado scored five runs for the Blue Jays on May 3, 1998 at Seattle, and Shannon Stewart did the same June 25, 2002 at Tampa Bay.
Frank Catalanotto went 4-for-5 and tied a career high with four RBIs for Toronto, which has won six straight at SkyDome after starting the season 1-9 at home.
David Ortiz homered for the Red Sox, who have lost four of five.