Published July 06, 2012
PHOENIX – Even All-Star Wade Miley couldn't stop the Arizona Diamondbacks' struggles.
Miley gave up home runs to Scott Van Slyke and Elian Herrera, and the Los Angeles Dodgers sent Arizona to its season-worst sixth straight loss with a 4-1 win on Thursday night.
"We had our opportunities early in the game," Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said. "We had the bases loaded, nobody out. We got only one run out of it. We hit into three double plays, just killers."
The Diamondbacks fell seven games behind the Dodgers in the NL West standings, and failed to hit a home run in a game for the first time in the past 15. It appeared to set up well for Arizona, with Miley against winless youngster Nathan Eovaldi.
Instead, the Dodgers scored twice off Miley in the first inning, Eovaldi (1-5) avoided serious damage in the second and two players who started the season in the minors — Van Slyke and Herrera — hit solo homers.
"All the hits they got, he was not locating like he was trying to locate them," Gibson said of Miley. "You could probably see that his velocity was down quite a bit. He sucked it up pretty well actually. I probably left him out here one too much. I thought he did a heck of a job to get that far.
"I was trying to get him a win, then Herrera hit that home run. That hurt."
The Dodgers got to Miley (9-5) for two runs on four sharply hit balls in the first. Juan Rivera and Luis Cruz drove in runs with one-out hits, but Miley limited the damage by striking out Van Slyke and getting Tony Gwynn Jr. to fly out to shallow right field.
Van Slyke homered with two outs in the fourth, and Herrera with two outs in the seventh.
"I left some balls up and they hit them," Miley said. "That is what they are supposed to do with it. Just ... not executing pitches, leaving balls up in the zone, trying to go away and the ball goes over the plate. They made me pay."
Arizona loaded the bases in the second thanks to a double and a pair of walks with no outs. But Eovaldi got hot-hitting Aaron Hill to ground into a 1-2-3 double play. The next batter, Stephen Drew, singled in a run, but Miley grounded out sharply to third base to end the inning.
Miley went 6 2/3 innings and gave up four runs on eight hits, striking out four. Arizona couldn't do a thing against Dodgers relievers Scott Elbert, Ronald Belisario and Kenley Jansen, and managed all five of their hits off Eovaldi.
Eovaldi (1-5) lasted six innings and allowed a run on five hits with three walks and three strikeouts for his first victory.
"Nice to finally get that first one out of the way," Eovaldi said. "I try to go out there and try to keep us as close in every ballgame as I can."
Miley said there are plenty of games left to play and the team will get through the losing streak and come together.
"I am ready for it to stop," Gibson said.
NOTES: Gibson defended his two-time All-Star outfielder, Justin Upton, after Upton heard boos during Wednesday's game in which he went 0 for 5, stranding five runners, and afterward said he doesn't care about the fans. "I didn't read it that way. I think what he was saying was that he goes out and prepares. He's doing everything he can. It's all how you take the context of any quote," Gibson said. "I will say this about fans: Let's just stop if you're the fans and think about it. Do you want him to do good? Would booing in any way, shape or form motivate somebody or help somebody? J-Up cares about everything that he does here. Trust me." There was barely a smattering of boos for Upton on Thursday night after he went 2 for 4. ... Arizona LHP Joe Saunders will pitch in a rehabilitation assignment Sunday night at the Diamondbacks' training facility in nearby Scottsdale. Gibson wants to see Saunders, currently on the 15-day disabled list with a shoulder injury, get his pitch count up and build up his arm strength before he returns to the rotation.