Miley, D-backs unravel in six-run eighth inning

Miley, D-backs unravel in six-run eighth inning

Miley, D-backs unravel in six-run eighth inning
SAN DIEGO -- It came apart in a hurry for the D-backs on Friday night.

A bunt single by Alexi Amarista helped ignite a six-run rally that led the Padres to a 7-1 victory over the D-backs at Petco Park.

"It unraveled pretty quick there," D-backs shortstop Willie Bloomquist.

Indeed, much like the season thus far, Friday night was filled with frustration for the men in Sedona Red.

On the positive side, Miley once again put together a stellar outing, though, his numbers at the end of the night will not look that pretty.

The left-hander was hitting his spots and was incredibly efficient with his pitches as he allowed just one run on three hits over the first seven innings.

"Miley is pitching good," Padres manager Bud Black said. "We haven't seen a whole lot of him. But you knew he'd be a tough act tonight."

The momentum in the game seemed to change in the top of the eighth when with two outs, Padres reliever Andrew Cashner walked Chris Young. The final pitch of the at-bat to Young sailed high and tight, and Young had to duck down to avoid it.

As Young walked down to first, he looked towards third-base coach Matt Williams for his signs. Cashner, meanwhile, thought Young was staring him down and according to Young yelled, "What are you looking at?"

Young proceeded to yell back at Cashner and both benches emptied briefly. No punches or shoves were exchanged and order quickly was restored. Young was then thrown out trying to steal second for the final out of the inning as the Padres high-fived their way off the field.

"I was just looking at the signs from Matty," Young said. "Initially I didn't think anything of it, I just thought about the walk and was trying to pick up the signs and see what happens next. I just happened to hear him say something to me and I responded and that was it. Just a misunderstanding."

After Miley retired the first hitter in the eighth, Amarista reached on a bunt single and pinch-hitter Jesus Guzman homered to left for a 3-1 San Diego lead.

"They got some momentum," Miley said. "I left a changeup up and he hit it out. It was 1-0 and right here I thought a changeup was a good pitch. I left it up a little bit and he capitalized. He's a good hitter."

It would only get worse from there for the D-backs.

After Chris Denorfia singled, D-backs manager Kirk Gibson went to reliever David Hernandez and the right-hander did not retire any of the four batters he faced. The first hitter to step in against him, Cameron Maybin, tripled to left-center.

"He obviously didn't have very good stuff, didn't trust it," Gibson said. "He wouldn't throw his fastball, he threw five strikes out of 13 pitches, he walked two guys. We've been throwing the ball by Maybin all night and you're going to hang him a curveball? That just wasn't very smart. I didn't think that was very good selection."

Gibson's postgame session with reporters lasted barely 1 minute 20 seconds before he ended it by saying, "We've got to regroup. Go talk to them. That's it."

The players, too, seemed at a loss to explain what's befallen a team that was picked to contend for the division crown. Unlike last year, this year's team has not been able to cut off big innings by the opposition and has lacked the late-game magic of 2011.

"There are a number of things I could point to that we didn't do real well," Bloomquist said. "I don't know how many big innings we had last year, but it seemed like once they got started, they stopped pretty quick. We got a lot more timely hits last year, too, and had the lead in games instead of playing behind in games. When you have that lead late in games, you have that adrenaline, have that momentum going. No one's pointing the blame at pitching or hitting; it's just that in all facets of the game, we've got to get better."

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.