D-backs rout Rox to keep Wild Card hopes alive

D-backs rout Rox to keep Wild Card hopes alive

D-backs rout Rox to keep Wild Card hopes alive
DENVER -- D-backs left-hander Wade Miley was not feeling great when he took the Coors Field mound on Friday night.

A fever and body aches that cropped up in the afternoon left him under the weather, but watching his offense pound out a season-high 19 hits, en route to a 15-5 win over the Rockies, was enough to ease his discomfort.

The 15 runs were the most the D-backs had scored since Sept. 24, 2011.

With the win, the D-backs climbed back to the .500 mark and kept their slim playoff hopes alive. They've won four of five and crept to within 4 1/2 games on the Cardinals for the second National League Wild Card spot. Arizona is now 75-75 on the season.

The D-backs still face a tough road ahead, as they must leapfrog the Phillies, Dodgers, Brewers and Cardinals with just 12 games left on the schedule.

Still, the music blared in the clubhouse after the game after the offensive outburst.

"Just contributions from everybody," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "You learn in games here you can never relax. It kind of reminds me of Fenway Park, playing there. We scored in every inning but the second, and had contributions from everybody."

Indeed, outfielder Justin Upton continued his red-hot hitting as he went 2-for-4 with a pair of walks and three runs scored.

Third baseman Chris Johnson and catcher Miguel Montero also had big nights for the D-backs, as they drove in three runs each.

"A lot of guys had some good at-bats," Johnson said. "The balls fell in. You've got to score a lot of runs in this ballpark. Guys can come back pretty easy so you've got to keep going. It's a good ballpark to hit in. It gives you a little bit of confidence.

"But they have some good pitchers and you've still got to go out there and make good contact, have good at-bats and try to square balls up. They'll go if you get them. You've just got to make sure that you get them, that's the first part."

Miley (16-10) did not have one of his better outings, but it is always difficult to judge in the high altitude of Coors Field. The left-hander allowed five runs on 10 hits over six innings as he continues his push for NL Rookie of the Year consideration.

"He didn't feel great, but that's part of it," Gibson said. "He wanted to pitch and he did a nice job. He just left some pitches up, left some offspeed pitches up. These guys lead the league in hitting and in this park if you put air underneath the ball you're going to give up some runs.

"I talked to him in the middle of the game and he was putting pressure on himself and I said, 'We just want to win the game, don't worry about it. Don't try to over-figure it [out]. Just go out there and try to put zeroes up and if you can't, we'll just have to outslug them.'"

That's exactly what the D-backs did.

It helped that even though he was giving up hits, Miley made the Rockies earn everything they got by not walking a batter and striking out four.

"I was able to throw strikes, but they just weren't quality strikes," Miley said. "The offense did a great job. They got the lead for me, I gave it up and they got it again and didn't look back. I was fortunate those guys came out swinging today. A win's a win."

The 16 wins tied Miley with the Rockies' Jason Jennings (2002) for the most wins by an NL rookie since Tom Browning won 20 for the Reds in 1985.

The Rockies actually grabbed a 2-1 lead in the first inning, but the D-backs' offense started clicking in the third.

Colorado starter Drew Pomeranz walked the first two batters of the third and the D-backs pounced, scoring three times.

In the fourth, the D-backs managed four runs, two coming on John McDonald two-run single off reliever Alex White (2-9) to take an 8-4 lead.

"Every time I threw my two-seam it was hit and hit hard," White said. "Just one of those things."

Arizona did not stop there, scoring one run in the fifth and two in the sixth and seventh innings to build a commanding lead.

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.