Control issues prevented Wade Miley from going deep into his last start, but a healthy number of innings out of the Arizona left-hander would be welcomed on Friday night given the recent struggles of the Diamondbacks' bullpen.
Miley looks to pick up his third victory of the campaign as he draws the start in the opener of a three-game series with the San Diego Padres.
After beginning the season with consecutive wins, Miley has not factored into the outcome of his last three outings despite allowing just five runs over that time. He hurled 4 1/3 scoreless innings versus the Colorado Rockies on Saturday, but a career-high seven walks and another four hits allowed led to a 98-pitch outing in his club's eventual 3-2 victory.
The 26-year-old's outing got off to an ominous start when he walked four batters alone in the first inning, but a double play and inning-ending strikeout prevented any damage.
"It was one of those days," Miley said on Arizona's website. "You're going to have those days. I didn't have it, plain and simple. A lot of scuffling out there. ... I had I don't know how many baserunners and how they didn't score, who knows? We were fortunate enough to win."
Miley was left 2-0 with a 2.37 earned run average on the season and has struggled in his brief career versus the Rockies. He is 1-2 against them in four starts with a 6.08 ERA.
Arizona had won five of six before getting swept in a three-game series by the San Francisco Giants to begin the week. All three games were decided late as the Diamondbacks' bullpen was charged with all three setbacks.
In Wednesday's 9-6 setback, David Hernandez issued a pair of walks before serving up a go-ahead three-run homer in the eighth inning.
"That was the worst part of it all was two walks," said Arizona manager Kirk Gibson on the bullpen blowing the game. "We walked four guys in two innings and they all scored."
Though the bullpen has a solid 3.08 ERA on the season, Arizona's relief group has been charged with 10 blown saves.
The Padres hope those struggles continue in this opener after earning a four- game split with their recent series against the Chicago Cubs. San Diego used a four-run eighth inning to claim Thursday's finale 4-2.
San Diego had been held to just two singles through seven innings before its big frame. The first two runs scored came on a bloop single and passed ball before Everth Cabrera and Chase Headley hit back-to-back run-scoring singles.
"You never give up in this game. ... You keep battling and playing hard," said starter Eric Stults, who was taken off the hook from a tough-luck loss after allowing two runs on seven hits and two walks over 6 2/3 innings.
San Diego has won six of its past eight overall and turns to veteran Jason Marquis for tonight's opener.
The right-hander is 2-2 with a 4.20 ERA through five starts this year and was tagged for seven runs over 4 2/3 innings in a loss to Milwaukee on April 22.
Marquis rebounded on Sunday to beat the San Francisco Giants, however, holding them to a pair of runs over 6 2/3 frames. He worked around six hits and four walks in a 6-4, getting helped by a pair of double plays turned by the defense.
"I felt like the ball came out the way I wanted," Marquis said. "A few situations I had to make some pitches and my defense did a good job of helping me out and turning some double plays."
The 34-year-old is just 2-7 lifetime versus Arizona with a 4.30 ERA in 15 meetings (14 starts).
The Padres went 11-7 versus the Diamondbacks a season ago, but lost five of nine at home.