Diamondbacks' Miley seeks encore performance versus Rays
Arizona's Wade Miley tries to beat the Tampa Bay Rays for the second time in a week on Tuesday when the Diamondbacks open a brief two- game set against them at Chase Field.
Miley won his second straight start on Wednesday against the Rays, holding them to a pair of hits over 6 1/3 scoreless innings to improve to 8-8 on the year to go along with a 3.68 ERA.
"We couldn't shake Miley," Rays manager Joe Maddon said after the game Wednesday. "Their guy really pitched well. We had a couple of opportunities like we were talking about against him, and we needed to take advantage of those to get that momentum coming back to us."
Tampa wasn't the only team having a hard time lately with Miley, who ended the month of July posting a 1.59 ERA, while winning four of his six starts.
Arizona, though, enters this series struggling a bit, as it has lost six of its last eight and has fallen six games off the pace set by the red-hot Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West.
Hoping to add to their woes on Tuesday will be Rays right-hander Jeremy Hellickson, who lost for the first time in seven decisions to Miley and the D'backs on Wednesday.
Hellickson, who hadn't lost since June 13, gave up four runs and seven hits in 4 1/3 frames of that one and fell to 10-4, while raising his ERA to 4.60.
"I need to get back to commanding my fastball," Hellickson said. "I was falling behind everybody and my changeup and curveball weren't very good either. It was a bad outing and it started with command."
After losing two in a row the Rays finished the weekend strong, as they took the final two games in their three-game set with the San Francisco Giants.
Tampa, which split its two-game set with the Diamondbacks last week, currently holds one of the two wild card spots in the American League and finds itself just a half-game back of the Boston Red Sox in the AL East.