CLEVELAND -- Cleveland Indians reliever Andrew Miller did not have the greatest of runs with the then-Florida Marlins, but in his return to Miami, he closed out a win for the American League at Marlins Park Tuesday night.
Miller entered the 2017 Major League Baseball All-Star Game with a one-run lead in the bottom of the 10th inning and made the advantage stand up in a 2-1 win for the American League, who earned its fifth straight victory and 17th in the last 21 mid-season exhibitions.
Miller came on in relief in the bottom of the 10th inning and earned the save for the American League.
Miller got the first out of the inning courtesy of a diving play in right field from Justin Upton of the Detroit Tigers, and Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor continued the solid defensive play with the next hitter by ranging to his left and firing a quick throw down to first base for the second out of the frame.
Following a two-out walk to Cincinnati Reds slugger Joey Votto, Miller struck out Los Angeles Dodgers rookie Cody Bellinger to end the game.
Miller earned his second straight trip to the MLB All-Star Game with a standout performance in the first half of the 2017 regular season.
After acquiring him in a late-July trade with the New York Yankees, the Indians got a glimpse of what Miller could do over the final two months of the 2016 season and the playoffs, where he earned the Most Valuable Player Award with a dominating performance against the Toronto Blue Jays in the American League Championship Series.
And the star left-handed reliever has been as advertised over the first three months of the 2017 season.
Over 37 appearances out of the bullpen in his first full year with the Indians, Miller has a 3-2 record with two saves and 18 holds, a 1.42 earned run average and 0.68 WHIP (Walks and Hits per Innings Pitched).
In 44.1 innings of work over the first half of the season, Miller registered 67 strikeouts and allowed just 10 walks, 20 hits and seven earned runs.
Ironically enough, for Miller, playing in the All-Star Game in Miami signified how far his career has come.
It was in Miami that Miller has his greatest struggles as a starting pitcher, allowing 144 earned runs, 20 home runs and 256 hits over 220 innings of work in three seasons. After posting a record of 10-20 over the three years in Florida, Miller moved onto Boston and resurrected his fledgling career out of the bullpen.
Currently, Miller and the Indians lead the American League Central Division by 2.5 games over the Minnesota Twins and hold a three-game edge over the surging Kansas City Royals.
The Indians begin the second half of the regular season with a West Coast trip at the Oakland Athletics starting Friday night.
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