Wade to last: Miley delivers when O's need it most

Lefty strikes out career-high 11 over 8 2/3 IP in win over former team

Wade to last: Miley delivers when O's need it most

BALTIMORE -- Wade Miley, who left his last start with upper back cramps, had no such issues on Saturday.

Instead,the lefty went out and dominated the D-backs, going 8 2/3 innings and allowing one run in the Orioles' 6-1 win, vaulting them over the Tigers into the American League's second Wild Card.

"He's had real good command, and he had a good slider tonight. Real sharp, late," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of Miley, who matched a career-high with 11 strikeouts. "You see nine right-handed hitters out there, you're going have to be able to do some things other than just spot a fastball. He had a lot of things at his disposal that he could use at any point in the count. Couple that with [catcher] Matt [Wieters] and that gives you a real good chance."

Miley, who has had his share of struggles since coming to the Orioles at the non-waiver Trade Deadline, exited in the ninth to a standing ovation at Camden Yards after allowing a two-out RBI double to Brandon Drury. It was a welcome reaction for the lefty, who gave the O's one of their best pitching performances all season.

"That's kind of what we play for," said Miley "That's the reaction you want. You obviously want to go out there and do good ... And it worked out tonight."

Miley's 10th strikeout

In Miley's previous start on Sunday against Tampa, Miley was pitching well before leaving with the back injury. The lefty allowed one run over four scoreless innings before having to leave the game.

Showalter, who was booed lightly for taking out the lefty, joked he considered throwing the ball to reliever Tyler Wilson as he ran in.

"Yeah, they certainly weren't cheering me," Showalter joked. "I didn't think I had enough arm to reach Tyler."

Miley who apologized for TV cameras catching him jokingly flipping the middle finger to Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, held the D-backs to seven hits and didn't issue a walk in the impressive 116-pitch outing. It marked his second win as an Oriole.

"I've seen him a lot. I've seen him a lot more than most people in this room. I know what he's capable of, that's kind of what I was saying," said Orioles right fielder Mark Trumbo, who hit his Major League-leading 45th home run.

Trumbo's 45th home run

"I've seen when he was going well, this is what you can expect for him. Tremendous tempo, he was working in and out. He had all his pitches going. That was just a great job tonight."

Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.