Considering the Atlanta Braves' struggles on the road, Shelby Miller might again find it difficult to end his lengthy winless stretch no matter how well he pitches.
Looking to record his first victory in more than three months, Miller tries to help the Braves avoid matching a season high with their seventh consecutive road loss Friday against the Chicago Cubs.
Miller (5-9, 2.43 ERA) flirted with a no-hitter for the second time this season before allowing a single to open the eighth in Sunday's 2-1, 10-inning victory over Arizona. The right-hander yielded another hit before departing, was charged with that run and struck out 10.
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However, he's 0-8 with a 3.03 ERA in 16 starts since coming one out away from no-hitting Miami in a 6-0 victory May 17. It's the longest winless stretch by an Atlanta pitcher since Jo-Jo Reyes went 31 games - 28 starts - without a win from June 2008-May 2011. With a 6.59 ERA in that span, though, Reyes had much more to do with his drought.
"I'm going out there every time and I'm trying to put up zeros," Miller told MLB's official website. "At the end of the day, we've got to win."
Miller's teammates haven't helped by scoring 15 runs with him on the mound in those 16 outings, including six while he's gone 0-4 with a 3.98 ERA through seven road starts in that span. He struck out eight but gave up three runs - one earned - and walked four in six innings of a 4-1 loss to the Cubs on July 19.
Chicago (68-51) snapped a three-game skid with Thursday's 7-1 win, handing the Braves (53-68) a 19th loss in their last 21 road contests. The majors' lowest-scoring team has averaged 2.4 runs while dropping 25 of their last 30 on the road, where its 44 losses are tied for the most in baseball.
The Cubs allowed 25 runs and 40 hits to Detroit in the previous two games but yielded only an eighth-inning sacrifice fly Thursday.
Though they've won the last four starts by Kyle Hendricks (6-5, 3.97), he's posted a 5.66 ERA while going 2-0 in those games. The right-hander's ERA rose to 6.08 over his last five after he allowed five runs in a season-low 3 1-3 innings of last Friday's 6-5 victory over the White Sox.
"It's been frustrating," he told MLB's official website. "All year, trying to find the answer. All year, it hasn't felt right. Even when I had a good outing, it just happened that my hand position was good that day."
Following last week's start, Hendricks looked at minor league video of himself to possibly fix things.
"Everybody has different mechanics," he said. "Some guys are rotational. For me, being rotational is not good at all. I have to be on line, my shoulders square, then I can get to the bottom of the zone."
Hendricks hopes to have ironed things out in time to be more efficient than he was July 17, when he allowed one earned but threw 100 pitches through 5 2-3 innings while not factoring in the decision of a 4-2 loss at Atlanta.
Teammate Jorge Soler is 1 for 11 in the last three games but 3 for 7 with two homers against Miller.
Atlanta's Freddie Freeman is batting .357 in his last eight games at Wrigley Field.