Cubs’ Mills exits with back injury vs. Red Soxon July 3, 2022 at 4:07 pm

CHICAGO — Chicago Cubs pitcher Alec Mills left Saturday’s 3-1 win against the Boston Red Sox due to lower back pain after throwing just seven pitches.

The 30-year-old Mills (0-1, 9.87 ERA) struck out Jarren Duran and left after allowing a double to Rafael Devers.

Mark Leiter Jr. came in and struck out J.D. Martinez and got Xander Bogaerts to fly out, ending the inning.

“That was awesome,” Mills said. “What he did was special.”

Leiter Jr. (2-2) picked up the win, allowing three hits, striking out five and walking one in 5 1/3 innings.

“It was nice to feel that emotion,” said Leiter Jr., who exited to an ovation from the crowd. “Proud of being able to kind of hold us where we were and not have to run through other guys and really use a lot of arms.”

Mills was activated June 7 from the 60-day injured list for a right quadriceps strain. He said the pain he felt on Saturday is “a very similar feeling” to his previous injury, and he will see how he recovers.

“The pitch to Duran on the strikeout was when I initially felt a little bit of something,” Mills said. “It didn’t get any better, thought maybe I could get through it.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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