Miley arms D-backs in rubber game victory

Miley arms D-backs in rubber game victory

Miley arms D-backs in rubber game victory
KANSAS CITY -- D-backs starter Wade Miley is a believer. So says manager Kirk Gibson.

"It's just his makeup. It's one of the things that makes him good," Gibson said. "He's here, and he believes in himself. He believes in the scouting report. He believes in his catcher. He believes in his fielders. And he just competes."

Calling Miley "good" might be an understatement at this point in the season. The left-hander threw seven scoreless frames for his fifth victory as the D-backs earned a 2-0 win over the Royals on Sunday in the rubber game at Kauffman Stadium. He allowed six hits and two walks and struck out three.

"I felt good today," Miley said. "I had to battle a little bit. I had some guys on base, but I worked through it. I feel good every time out. I want to give the team a chance to win. That's my goal, and things are working out right now."

Miley definitely aided the winning cause, as the Royals' offense couldn't muster much of anything against the rookie. Even though he allowed a hit in every inning but one, Miley did a tremendous job of stranding runners.

The Royals' biggest threat came in the fourth inning. Billy Butler walked and Jeff Francoeur followed with a single, as both runners moved into scoring position on a broken-bat groundout by Alex Gordon. But Miley retired two more Royals hitters to end the inning without any damage.

"He was really good, as good as advertised," Francoeur said. "Obviously he pounds the strike zone, throws two or three good pitches, and you can see why he's made their starting rotation lately -- 5-1 is pretty darn good."

Francoeur was the only Royal to get to Miley consistently. The Kansas City right fielder picked up four hits in the game, three off the Arizona starter.

The D-backs didn't need a whole lot of offense thanks to Miley. Miley's dominance and a pair of scoreless innings by the D-backs' bullpen meant the two-spot was plenty of support.

Paul Goldschmidt led off the fifth inning against Royals starter Nate Adcock with a double and Aaron Hill hit the first pitch he saw into right field for a single, advancing Goldschmidt to third. John McDonald then executed a bunt single that first baseman Eric Hosmer fumbled, as Goldschmidt crossed with the game's first run.

In this Interleague contest, the D-backs used that National League style of baseball to pick up their second run in the eighth. Gerardo Parra led off with a walk and moved to second on a sacrifice by Ryan Roberts and then to third on a wild pitch. Justin Upton lifted a fly ball to right field, and despite an amazing throw to the plate by Francoeur, Parra scored to give the D-backs a 2-0 lead.

"We needed an extra tack-on run. That was opportunity to do it," Upton said. "I just felt like it had been a little bit rough all day with the strike zone, and that was a big situation for us. Francoeur has been known for his arm for a long time. Gerardo went in there hard, which is what we needed. We needed him to get across the plate, and he did."

The throw wowed the crowd, and drew a whole lot of admiration in the visiting clubhouse. Parra said he watched the throw on the computer again after the game.

"That is a phenomenal throw. That's not a good throw, come on," Gibson said. "Right on the money, puts your catcher in a perfect spot to block the plate. That was a great throw."

After extending the lead to two runs, Arizona reliever David Hernandez pitched a scoreless eighth, despite hitting Butler and allowing a single to Francoeur. J.J. Putz pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning -- aided by a couple of nice catches by his outfielders -- to earn his ninth save.

"We know that if we're going to start winning one-run games, close games, that those guys have to come in and shut the door," Gibson said. "They were both rested. It was important for them to get in there."

Adcock was hooked with the loss in his first start of the season after being pressed into starting duty after an emergency callup. He went five innings, allowing one run on five hits and one walk with three strikeouts.

Vinnie Duber is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.