The Arizona Diamondbacks are hoping Wade Miley's previous performance was just an aberration and he will revert back to his commanding ways tonight in the opener of a four-game series with the NL West-rival Los Angeles Dodgers at Chase Field.
Miley was selected as a reserve on the National League All-Star roster, but is coming off an unfavorable performance his last time out. In Saturday's 10-2 drubbing at the hands of the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park, Miley was stroked for eight runs and eight hits, including a season-high three home runs, in only 3 2/3 innings. He had won two straight and six of eight starts.
"Obviously, today I don't think he had his best stuff," D-backs catcher Miguel Montero said of his battery mate. "Eventually he's going to have games like that. He's a human being. It was not a good outing. He was still battling and he was still competing. Unfortunately, things didn't work out the way he wanted."
Miley, the first D-backs rookie to make the Midsummer Classic, fell to 9-4 in 16 games (13 starts) this season and his earned run average slightly climbed from 2.19 to 2.87. The left-hander defeated Los Angeles on May 15 in a 5-1 win and tossed 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball. In two career games (1 start) against the Dodgers, Miley is 1-0 with a 3.52 ERA.
In eight home appearances (6 starts) this season, Miley sports a 6-1 mark to go along with a 2.33 ERA.
Arizona was swept in three games by San Diego to begin a seven-game homestand and has lost five straight overall and seven of nine contests. In Wednesday's 8-6 loss that solidified the sweep for the Padres, Ian Kennedy gave up four runs and nine hits in seven innings in the no-decision and David Hernandez was dealt the loss for surrendering two runs in the eighth inning.
Jason Kubel hit a three-run homer and Willie Bloomquist finished 3-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored for Arizona.
The Dodgers were able to re-claim the top spot in the NL West -- one-half game ahead of San Francisco -- with Wednesday's 4-1 win over the Cincinnati Reds in the finale of a three-game series at Chavez Ravine. The Giants lost at Washington earlier on Independence Day.
Los Angeles starter Aaron Harang stymied his former Reds team with seven innings of one-run ball and struck out five batters. Ronald Belisario and Kenley Jansen each threw a scoreless inning of relief and combined for five strikeouts, with Jansen posting his 14th save.
"I felt really good. I stayed through the ball. I felt I had control of the game," Harang said.
Luis Cruz and James Loney had RBI singles for the Dodgers, who have won three of their last four contests following a seven-game skid. It's the first time Los Angeles has won consecutive games since June 9-10 at Seattle.
The news wasn't all good for LA, as shortstop Dee Gordon suffered a dislocated right thumb on a stolen base in the eighth inning. X-rays revealed no break and Gordon is scheduled to have an MRI Thursday.
"I stole third and I actually don't know what was caught, but I think it went underneath the base," said Gordon, who tallied his major league-leading 30th stolen base. "It was a weird play and a weird thing happened. I felt I hit something real hard and got up and looked at my batting glove and it looked big. I looked at my finger and it was not a good sight."
The Dodgers put right fielder Andre Ethier on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday with a left oblique strain and reinstated second baseman Mark Ellis off the DL. Ellis had suffered a left leg injury on May 18 and underwent subsequent surgery. Slugger Matt Kemp played in his second rehab game for Class A Rancho Cucamonga and played center field. Kemp was the designated hitter in his first rehab stint.
Los Angeles went 3-4 on a seven-game homestand and hopes to snap a four-game road losing streak in the desert tonight. It has dropped eight of nine games outside of Dodger Stadium.
Once again Dodgers young starter Nathan Eovaldi tries for his first win of the season Thursday and is 0-5 with a 4.61 earned run average in seven starts. He owns just one win in his career (1-7) and pitched 5 1/3 innings in Saturday's 5-0 loss to the New York Mets, allowing five runs and seven hits. The right- hander is 0-3 in four road starts in 2012, but is 1-0 with a 6.14 ERA in four career games (1 start) against the Diamondbacks.
LA has won three of five matchups with the D-backs this season and is 6-3 in the past nine meetings between the division foes.