Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

news

MLB News

Miller finding HR swing, hopes to finish strong

Rays second baseman hits seventh homer of 2017 after clubbing 30 in '16
MLB.com @wwchastain

KANSAS CITY -- Brad Miller is showing signs of finishing strong.

In Tuesday night's 6-2 loss to the Royals, the Rays second baseman hit his second home run in three games, a 410-foot shot, according to Statcast™, into Kauffman Stadium's visiting bullpen.

View Full Game Coverage

KANSAS CITY -- Brad Miller is showing signs of finishing strong.

In Tuesday night's 6-2 loss to the Royals, the Rays second baseman hit his second home run in three games, a 410-foot shot, according to Statcast™, into Kauffman Stadium's visiting bullpen.

View Full Game Coverage

Yes, the home run was just Miller's seventh of the season, or well under the 30 he delivered in 2016, but the sound of the blast brought hopes of more to come in the final 28 games of '17.

"I feel fine," Miller said. "Knowing it's a long season, there's ups and downs mentally and physically, but yeah, I was able to put a good swing on it tonight. And I've been doing it more consistently than I had."

Miller's barreled ball had an exit velocity of 107.6 mph with a 23-degree launch angle.

"He smoked that ball today," Rays manager Kevin Cash said.

Miller is 5-for-13 in his last four games, which is more hits than his previous 14 games combined (3-for-39). While he's struggled to collect hits this season, Miller has continued to draw walks. He has 56 on the season and 53 hits.

Cash has complimented Miller throughout the season for continuing to try to find the swing that was more productive in 2016. Miller's struggles are due in part to having to spend time on the disabled list with a right groin strain. Now, maybe Miller is finally onto something.

"I think we're always changing, even when things are going good we're changing," Miller said. "So it can be a little frustrating when nothing is really clicking for you.

"But I just think lately I haven't been that consistent, but I've been more consistent than I was before I got injured and right when I came back."

Cash doesn't believe it's out of the realm of reality to think Miller can get on a roll.

"Look, we all know what Brad is capable of doing," Cash said. "He's just got to get heated up and hot and stay hot. But he is swinging the bat better.

"I think there's a little bit more confidence when he's getting in the box right now and the intent behind his swings."

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2004.

Tampa Bay Rays, Brad Miller