Miley defeated as D-backs drop sixth straight

Miley defeated as D-backs drop sixth straight

Miley defeated as D-backs drop sixth straight
PHOENIX -- Plenty of emotions were on display in the D-backs' clubhouse Thursday evening. The club oozed frustration and anger.

Just a week ago, the team sat two games over .500 and was boiling over with confidence. What a difference a few days can make.

The D-backs grounded into three double plays and lost for the sixth consecutive day on Thursday, to the National League West-leading Dodgers, 4-1, at Chase Field.

"We're ready for this to stop," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "We always push on, but it stings now."

The D-backs collected five hits and walked three times, but only in one inning did a runner reach second base. The three double plays promptly ended every rally the team tried to string together.

"That's killer," Gibson said. "We hit some balls hard, but give the Dodgers credit. The ball didn't bounce well for us."

For the second consecutive start, All-Star pitcher Wade Miley struggled. The 25-year-old served up four runs, eight hits and two walks over 6 2/3 innings.

"I was leaving balls up, not executing pitches," Miley said. "They made me pay. It could've been worse, but it was bad."

Combined with his last start in Milwaukee, Miley has surrendered 12 runs in his last 10 1/3 innings. Before that, he put together a streak of four consecutive outings of seven innings or more and only one earned run allowed.

"He struggled, the ball was elevated every hit they got," Gibson said. "He didn't locate either."

The D-backs' offense didn't give Miley much of a chance to succeed, though. Dodgers starter Nathan Eovaldi kept the club at bay throughout his six innings of five-hit, one-run work. In his previous three outings, all losses, the right-hander gave up a combined 16 runs.

"Unfortunately, Miley gave up four runs -- it's tough," D-backs catcher Miguel Montero said. "We couldn't put any runs on the board. We put pressure on our pitcher not their pitcher. He couldn't make any mistakes."

Justin Upton, who was booed by the sold-out Chase Field crowd Wednesday, snapped out of his 1-for-18 slump by collecting two hits Thursday, both singles.

The D-backs' six-game losing streak is a season high; they had previously lost five straight on two separate occasions.

"If it's not the pitching, it's the hitting, we have to put the pieces together and figure it out," Montero said. "It's been tough, but we have to keep grinding. The only way to get out of it is to play hard."

After Miley struck out the first batter of the game, the Dodgers jumped on the lefty with the next four batters reaching base, highlighted by RBI hits from Juan Rivera and Luis Cruz to give the Dodgers a 2-0 lead.

Despite the damage, Miley performed well to get out of the inning with only two runs crossing the plate. He struck out A.J. Ellis with a runner on third then got Scott Van Slyke to fly out.

Gibson thought his pitcher's velocity was down in the game possibly because of a tired arm, but Miley didn't think that was the problem.

"I felt fine," Miley said. "But whether you're throwing 88 or 94, if the ball is belt high in the middle of the plate, it's going to get hit."

One frame later, the D-backs looked poised to put up a crooked number as well, but with the bases loaded and no outs, Aaron Hill grounded a pitch to Edvaldi, who started a double play by cutting Jason Kubel down at home.

Stephen Drew singled to right field with two outs to score a run and not let the opportunity go completely to waste.

While the D-backs remained stymied through the middle innings of the game, Van Slyke and Elian Herrera added to the Dodgers' lead with solo home runs in the fourth and seventh innings off Miley.

"I probably left him out there one guy too much," Gibson said. "I thought he did a heck of a job to get that far. I was trying to get him a win."

The last time Los Angeles hit two long balls in a game was May 21, also at Chase Field.

"We're scuffling, every team does," Miley said. "We'll get through this, there are a lot of games left to play. We're fine, we're in it. We just have to win some ballgames and get some confidence into the break."

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