Anthony Miller fell short of Carolina League history on Friday night, but he did make personal history.
The Indians prospect was a triple shy of the cycle but put up his first two-homer game while setting a career high in hits with a 5-for-5 showing as Class A Advanced Lynchburg blanked Salem, 8-0, at Haley Toyota Field. He matched another personal best with four RBIs.
Video: Hillcats' Miller singles for fifth hit
When Miller stepped to the plate in the seventh, he had a chance to hit for the cycle, needing a triple. Instead, he crushed his second homer of the night. He said he knew what was at stake.
"People were giving me a lot of crap about it and everything, saying I was too big and too slow. So I knew about it. I knew pretty well," Miller said. "I was honestly looking for something to drive to the gap and get a runner on base to get things going. Then I hit it and it kept going -- I skied it. I was kind of hoping it was going to hit off the wall, try to get that triple, but it went over."
Miller extended his hitting streak to five games by totaling 12 bases. He said he's found a comfort zone, and the results have followed.
Video: Miller crushes second homer for Lynchburg
"I was just trying to see the ball deep and get the job done," he added. "We really try to have team at-bats, try not to do too much and see a lot of pitches, put the ball in play."
The 23-year-old first baseman pulled a liner into right field for a single in the second inning against 24th-ranked Red Sox prospect Jake Thompson. Two frames later, he knocked Thompson's first pitch into center field for a double, scoring Trenton Brooks.
Gameday box score
Matching up with the right-hander again in the fifth, the 2015 18th-rounder drilled his seventh homer of the season over the fence in right field.
"I've felt good for a while now," Miller said. "I've been able to execute and stay true to my approach; I need to stay within that. Things are kind of just clicking, just try not to do too much and produce team at-bats."
A triple away from the first Carolina League cycle of the year in the seventh, the left-handed hitter battled righty Yankory Pimentel to a full count, sending the sixth pitch out of the yard in right-center. Leading off the ninth, he laced a single to right off 2018 third-rounder Durbin Feltman.
"I think it's huge to be playing like this now," said Miller, a Johnson County Community College product. "The best part about it is we're trying to push for a playoff spot right now. The fact that I have confidence going into my at-bats now is huge. It's huge for the rest of the team, so we can end up playing in the playoffs here like we did last year. Honestly, everyone is swinging the bat well right now. It's everywhere and it's good for the whole team."
Brooks and Dillon Persinger each notched three hits and combined to score three runs. Justin Garza (5-6) tossed five one-hit innings for the win, striking out six without issuing a walk.