Braves right-handed prospect Jarrett Miller was happy with his start Tuesday, except for one gnawing detail.
"I just wish I would have gotten that one more inning," he said. "I wish I would have gotten over that hump from the sixth into the seventh."
Miller surrendered one hit and walked three while striking out six over six shutout innings in Class A Advanced Lynchburg's 3-1 win at Frederick. He's now 8-6 with a 3.42 ERA in the Carolina League. The 23-year-old righty threw 94 pitches -- 55 of them for strikes.
"Six innings on 94 pitches?" Miller said. "That's not that good actually, and it's from falling behind in the count too many times. In three or four at-bats in a row, I went 2-0. I was trying to be pinpoint too early in the count, instead of trying to go right at them with pitches. "
He walked the Keys' first hitter of the game, John Ruettiger, but then settled in to get three quick outs. The one hit against him -- a double by Glynn Davis -- came with one down in the second.
"It was a fastball count, and I left it belt-high. He did what a professional hitter should do with a fastball down the middle," Miller said. "I got away with some up in the zone a couple times -- they fouled them off -- but he got that one. After that, I was able to mostly keep the ball down."
In his third year as a pro and his second full season, Miller had been tweaking his delivery under the guidance of Hillcats pitching coach Derek Botelho with the specific aim of hitting his spots down in the zone more often. The new windup, which has him staying back and raising his hand over his head, was effective Tuesday. When he strayed from it in the fourth, he walked two batters and threw a wild pitch.
"My mechanics got out of whack for a bit. I went back to what we were working on in the bullpen, staying smooth and not rushing out front," Miller explained. "The biggest thing for me to overcome in my head is staying smooth through the whole windup."
When he'd collected himself, Miller got a strikeout to end the inning, and he retired the last eight hitters he faced in a row.
"I was getting stronger as the game went on, and I got into a good routine, a good pace with the full windup," he said. "I had full confidence in what [catcher Shawn McGill] was calling. No second guessing -- seeing what your catcher calls and just throwing it -- is huge for a pitcher."
Carlos Perez pitched two scoreless innings in relief of Miller. John Cornely gave up a ninth-inning homer to Frederick's Aaron Baker.
Eleventh-ranked Orioles prospect Zach Davies struck out nine but allowed three runs over 5 1/3 innings and fell to 5-5 with a 3.72 ERA.