Miley's early struggles sink D-backs in Philly

Lefty allows five runs in first three innings; Marte hits pinch-hit slam

Miley's early struggles sink D-backs in Philly

PHILADELPHIA -- Alfredo Marte made things interesting, but his pinch-hit grand slam was not enough for the D-backs to overcome a poor start by Wade Miley in Friday's 9-5 loss to the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.

Miley (6-7) entered the game riding a three-start winning streak, and over his last four starts he had a 1.88 ERA. Yet right from the get go it was clear that it was not going to be the left-hander's night.

"I actually felt all right, but I just couldn't command the ball," Miley said. "I had no feel for the fastball at all, and the breaking ball was not very good, either. Just kind of bouncing everything and pulling off of everything."

Miley fell behind hitters and walked three in the first inning as the Phillies scored a pair of runs.

"I just didn't have it tonight," Miley said. "That one's on me. I have to do a better job of setting the tempo early in the game. I walked three guys in the first inning and right then it puts everyone on their heels, and it's just tough to come back from that."

In the second, an RBI single by Chase Utley increased the Philadelphia lead, and the Phillies tacked on another two in the third and one in the fifth to go up 6-0.

It was a lead that appeared insurmountable given the way the Arizona offense looked through the first five innings against Kyle Kendrick (5-10).

While Miley may have been hot coming into this start, Kendrick was not, having allowed 18 earned runs in his previous three outings.

It looked like the D-backs might get to Kendrick in the first, as they loaded the bases with one out, but the right-hander fanned Mark Trumbo and got Martin Prado to line out to end the frame.

"Putting up the zero was big for him," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said of Kendrick. "He really rolled after that and pitched well. The runs on the board probably went a long way, which was good for the offense and for him to attack the zone and throw strikes."

Arizona managed just two hits off Kendrick over the next four innings before finally breaking through in the sixth by loading the bases with two outs.

With the left-handed-hitting Gerardo Parra due up, Sandberg brought in his left-handed specialist, Antonio Bastardo. D-backs manager Kirk Gibson countered by pinch-hitting the right-handed-hitting Marte, and it looked like a genius move when Marte hit a 1-1 pitch into the left-field bleachers for a grand slam.

"I just thought that was the way we could get back in the game," Gibson said. "I thought we had a better opportunity to hit one out of the park with Marte right there."

It was the first home run of Marte's career, and he became the first player in franchise history to hit a grand slam for his first homer.

"I'm really shocked," Marte said through a translator. "I wasn't looking for a home run in that at-bat, and getting that home run in that situation was huge for me."

The slam cut the deficit to 6-4, and when the D-backs loaded the bases with one out in the seventh, it looked like they might have a chance to take the lead, but Miguel Montero and Trumbo struck out to end the inning.

The Phillies then put the game away in the bottom of the frame when Domonic Brown hit a two-run homer off Evan Marshall.

The D-backs, meanwhile, couldn't capitalize on their chances with the bases loaded.

"We left the bases loaded two times with one out and didn't get any runs out of it, and that hurts," Gibson said. "We had our opportunities. Certainly in the seventh was another opportunity, and we didn't capitalize on it."

Trumbo is now hitting .138 in 30 plate appearances since being activated off the disabled list after missing nearly three months with a stress fracture in his left foot.

"He's just struggling right now," Gibson said of Trumbo. "Trying to do well for his teammates and trying to work it out and probably getting frustrated. It's just part of the game."

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.