After two months, the Diamondbacks are waiting for Wade Miley to regain his form of two years ago.
That’s when the 27-year-old native of Hammond, La. was named to the National League all-star squad and runner-up in the National League rookie-of-the-year balloting. Prior to his latest start Tuesday night against San Diego, Miley was a shell of that season and sported a 1-4 record with three no decisions in his last eight starts.
To this point, Miley has shown endurance but marginal production. He entered Tuesday’s assignment with an overall season mark of 3-5 and an ERA approaching five runs a game.
That changed when Miley seemed to turn back the clock and gave the Diamondbacks one of his better efforts. In reaching a career-high in strikeouts with 11, Miley allowed three runs in the third but from that point, he retired 13 of the final 15 hitters he faced.
Meanwhile, the Diamondbacks picked up Miley to tie the score but eventually dropped a 4-3 decision to the San Diego Padres before 17,862 Tuesday night in Chase Field.
After the D-backs knotted this affair at 3-3 in the seventh inning, reliever Kevin Marshall, who sported a 0.00 ERA coming into the game, gave up an eighth inning home run to the Padres’ Tommy Medica, and that was the game-winner.
“(Medica) put a good swing on a good pitch,” Marshall said. “The pitch was down and he went after it. The home run stings but the rest of it was pretty good.”
Medica’s home run in the eighth was the first earned run Marshall allowed since his May 6 recall from Triple-A Reno.
The pitch to Medica, who delivered his second career go-ahead home run, was a change, down and in the strike zone. Manager Kirk Gibson did not fault Marshall and only indicated that rookie reliever “has been great for us. (Tuesday night), was not his night.”
Down for most of the game, the Diamondbacks picked up Miley, who delivered a solid performance. The 11 Ks was the most by a D-backs’ left-hander since Randy Johnson on Aug. 22, 2008 against the Rockies and his effort gave the Diamondbacks an opportunity to stay in the game.
“In that third inning, I didn’t make pitches and got the ball up a few times,” Miley said. “(San Diego) is a pretty good fast ball hitting team and I tried to keep them off-balance with slower stuff. I just have to make better pitches.”
The Diamondbacks jumped out to an early, 1-0 lead and that’s when Martin Prado drilled his first home run of the season (the first in his last 220 at-bats) in the second. That gave Miley a slight advantage, but the left-hander could not keep the Padres at bay. In the very next inning, San Diego parlayed five hits and an Arizona error into a three spot.
Down 3-1, the D-backs chipped away and pulled within one when Miguel Montero’s double drove in Paul Goldschmidt, who walked. Then, Gerardo Parra delivered the tying run when he slapped a single to left and that scored Cliff Pennington from third.
With a one-run lead in the eighth, the Padres’ relievers of Kevin Quackenbush and closer Huston Street retired the final six Diamondbacks in order to preserve the San Diego victory..
The San Diego series concludes Wednesday night when the D-backs send right-hander Chase Anderson (2-0, 5.00 ERA) to the hill against righty Tim Stauffer (2-0, 1.90).
Then, the Cincinnati Reds come into Chase Field for a four-game set which starts Thursday night. That match-up involves Josh Collmenter (3-2, 3.91) against lefty Tony Cingrani (2-4, 4.00).
IF YOU CAN’T PLAY …
While D-backs’ right-hander Daniel Hudson recovers from his second Tommy John surgery, he stays focused on the television set.
That’s where Old Dominion University, his alma mater, accepted an at-large bid to the Division I NCAA tournament and play in the post-season for the first time since 2000.
As the number three seed in a Regional hosted by South Carolina, Old Dominion (season record of 36-24) will take on number two seed Maryland this Friday at 1 p.m. Eastern time (ESPN3). South Carolina and Campbell make up the other two teams in this double elimination round.
The likely starting pitcher for Old Dominion is left-hander Andy Roberts from Prescott. A transfer from Iowa Western Junior College, Roberts lead his team to the 2012 national junior college championship with a 20-2 record and 2.00 ERA.
As a junior for Prescott High School, Roberts was the 2009 pitcher-of-the-year. For the 2014 season, Roberts went 6-3 with a 3.01 ERA in 15 starts. That represented the most starts by a pitcher on the Old Dominion staff.
Regarding Hudson’s recovery and time table from a second Tommy John surgery, the Diamondbacks are cautious.
“We’re taking more time with him,” said manager Kirk Gibson. “He’s taking more long tosses and less bullpen. We want him to have more recovery time and it’s too far off to create any time table or return.”
Hudson last appeared for the Diamondbacks in 2012 when he went 3-2, 7.35 ERA in nine starts. During the previous season when Arizona won the National League West title, Hudson was an important part of the pitching staff and compiled a 16-12 record with a 3.49 ERA in 33 starts to go along with three complete games.