Left-hander Wade Miley got in and out of trouble effectively after being promoted to the major leagues in a sticky situation last season, when he made seven starts down the stretch after Jason Marquis was lost for the season.
This year, Miley does not get into much trouble, the result of an offseason focus on throwing early strikes. It showed again in the Diamondbacks' 5-1 victory over the Los Angeles on Tuesday, when he scattered eight hits and walked one in 6 23 innings to help break a three-game losing streak.
"People used to say I was effectively wild. I'd walk a lot of guys and try to wiggle my way out of it. It would get me in trouble. This year I wanted to be able to dodge some of the trash, like base runners early. Instead of walking a guy, I wanted to try to make him earn his way on. Make him hit the ball," said Miley, who improved to 4-1 with a 2.52 ERA.
Miley, a sandwich pick in the 2008 draft, was 4-2 with a 4.50 ERA his rookie year, walking 18 in 40 innings.
"I figured it would be easier on my body and on my team if I could dodge that bases-loaded, one-out situation or first-and-third, no-out situation," Miley said.
"It puts a lot of stress on you. Nobody wants to be in that situation when you really have to bear down. So I figured if I could just bear down from the first pitch and go that route instead of waiting until it gets ugly and then try to bear down to get out of it."
Miley opened the season in the bullpen and took Daniel Hudson's spot in the starting rotation when Hudson went down with a shoulder impingement in mid-April. Miley has issued only 12 walks in 39 13 innings this season and appears to have locked up a spot in the rotation even after Hudson returns, possibly at the end of the month.
Young hitting well, may be back soon
--CF Chris Young had two doubles and three RBIs in his second rehab game at Class A Visalia on Tuesday, when he batted five times in the first four innings of a 26-11 victory at High Desert. Young drove in a run in the second inning and two in the third while playing four innings of defense. He has three doubles in nine at-bats for Visalia and appears close to rejoining the D-backs as they travel to Colorado for a two-game series starting Wednesday. Young has missed the last 26 games with a slight tear in a right shoulder ligament.
--RHP Ian Kennedy had a 12-game winning streak against division opponents, dating back to his final start of 2010, snapped in Monday night's 3-1 loss to the Dodgers. Kennedy, 3-3 with a 3.81 ERA, has received an average of 3.98 runs while in the game in his seven starts this season, the fourth-lowest run support in the NL. D-backs RHP Trevor Cahill (2-4, 3.65 ERA) has received 4.06 runs of support per game, the seventh-lowest total in the league.
--First basebase running coach Eric Young rejoined the D-backs for their two-game series in Los Angeles after missing a week following the passing of his father, Otis, on May 6. Not coincidentally, the D-backs stole two bases Monday, the first two allowed by Dodgers LHP Clayton Kershaw this season.
--Miley helped set up the D-backs' first run of the game when he ran hard to first base after striking out on a ball in the dirt and reached just ahead of the throw, loading the bases. OF Gerardo Parra drew a bases-loaded walk for a 1-0 lead in the second inning. "Those are the little things that make us us," SS Willie Bloomquist said. "It should have been the end of the inning."
BY THE NUMBERS: 6 -- consecutive singles -- by Miley, Parra, Bloomquist, Justin Upton, Miguel Montero and Jason Kubel -- to open a three-run fifth inning Monday.