Miller doesn't let early woes get to him in win

Miller doesn't let early woes get to him in win

ATLANTA -- It wasn't necessarily a thing of beauty, but it got the job done and with what he has been through to this point in the season, D-backs right-hander Shelby Miller had every right to be pleased with his outing Saturday night.

Miller notched his first win since joining the D-backs as he allowed two runs over six innings as Arizona beat Miller's former team, the Braves, 4-2, at Turner Field.

"It feels nice to finally pitch a decent game," Miller said. "At the same time, you take the positives out of this and when the next day comes around you work in between to get better and build off of this one."

The D-backs traded some of their top prospects to acquire Miller last December and they were counting on him to provide consistent quality innings as their No. 2 starter behind Zack Greinke.

Through his first six starts, though, Miller was anything but consistent as he compiled an 8.49 ERA and lasted less than four innings in three of his outings, the result it seemed of mechanical issues.

"He did a great job," D-backs manager Chip Hale said. "I think he felt good tonight, came out of the bullpen throwing. He did have some jams and he got out of them and limited the damage. It was great."

After allowing a solo homer to Freddie Freeman in the first, Miller appeared to teeter on the brink of trouble in the second when he allowed a bunt single, hit a batter and walked another to load the bases with no outs.

But where he unraveled in some of his previous starts when faced with that type of situation, this time Miller was able to hold the Braves to just one run in the frame.

"I wasn't worried," Hale said. "I just wanted him to be able to throw strikes and get out of the inning that way. Obviously limiting the damage was beautiful. I just didn't want to see walks and he did a good job of throwing strikes. Just watching it, watching him sort of handle the pressure, was beautiful."

Miller said he used that inning as a springboard to keep the Braves off the board over the next four innings before Hale went to the bullpen. Rather than try to throw the perfect strike he instead focused on just throwing the ball over the plate.

Just as that inning helped propel Miller forward, the D-backs are hoping this start positively impacts him for future starts.

"It's obviously going to help him a lot," Hale said.

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.