Falling behind in count costs Miller

Falling behind in count costs Miller

PHOENIX -- Through five innings it looked like D-backs right-hander Shelby Miller was on his way to his second straight win, but that all changed in the sixth as Giants second baseman Joe Panik smacked a three-run homer that sent the D-backs and Miller to a 3-1 loss at Chase Field.

Miller was coming off his finest outing of the year and it seemed like there was a carryover. His fastball location was good, he spotted his offspeed stuff and he appeared confident and in control.

Miller also got three double-play balls in the first four innings.

D-backs turn two in the 3rd

He even played a role on offense delivering his first career triple to lead off the bottom of the fifth and scoring when Jean Segura followed with a single.

Then came the sixth inning.

It started innocently enough with Angel Pagan and Denard Span each reaching on singles, but then Miller fell behind Panik 3-0 and grooved a fastball that went for a three-run homer.

"I threw a decent curveball to Pagan that got hit back up the middle," Miller said. "Then the one to Span was a little over the middle. It was a line drive. Then just kind of fell behind in the count to Panik and 3-0 he put a good swing on it and hit a bomb."

Said D-backs manager Chip Hale, "The first two guys reached on singles, he did a good job of battling them. I thought he threw the ball well. Panik, 3-0, ambushed him there. Other than that he threw the ball well."

Miller would get two more outs in the inning before walking Brandon Belt on his 99th pitch of the game and Hale decided he'd seen enough and came out to remove him.

Miller started walking off the mound before Hale got to him, which did not please the manager.

"He was just upset about the home run," Hale said. "So I told him I said, 'You don't have to walk off the mound before I get there just because you're upset.' He's a good kid and you don't like to see it because for me it's almost like you're getting shown up. But I understand he's upset about giving up the homer."

Miller's final line: Three earned runs over 5 2/3 innings.

Miller confirmed that it was the homer and not Hale's decision to remove him that caused his anger.

"I'm not upset with the move," Miller said. "I'm upset about the three-run shot that basically lost us the ballgame. I never question my manager's call. Whatever Chip decides to do I'm on his side. We're a team. We're in this together." 

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.