Updated Jul 26, 2013 - 8:19 am
Grit Index: Hill returns with a bang in D-backs' win over the Cubs
After two straight days of rest, the second baseman returned to the starting lineup with a vengeance, helping lead the Diamondbacks to a 3-1 win over the Chicago Cubs at Chase Field Thursday night.
Hill was 2-for-4 with a double, a home run and two RBI. The D-backs second baseman is now hitting .269 on the year and continues to make progress since coming off his long stint on the disabled list back in June.
Starter Wade Miley put in a solid 7.2 innings of work, giving up five hits and one earned run while striking out four and walking three. Miley's performance was impressive considering he was drilled with a comebacker in the third inning. He was hit in the back of the right knee and was clearly in pain but remained in the game.
Miley was relieved by J.J. Putz in the middle of the eighth and Brad Ziegler came on to pitch the ninth for his fifth save of the season.
With the win the D-backs split their four-game series with the Cubs. Another positive, the Dodgers lost to the Reds, so Arizona is now 0.5 games behind Los Angeles in the National League West standings.
Lefty Wade Miley is 3-1 with a 1.80 ERA in his last five starts. This was his 10th straight outing allowing three earned runs or less.
Miley and Martin Prado both suffered injuries. Although they were able to play through them Thursday night, Kirk Gibson thought both would be sore Friday.
Miley was hit in the right knee by a batted ball in the third inning and Prado was kicked in the neck sliding into second base in the fifth inning but was able to stay in the game.
-The Diamondbacks are 8-3 in their last 11 games against the Cubs at Chase Field.
-Arizona is 32-19 when scoring first and they have 48 wins when scoring three-plus runs.
-J.J. Putz has not allowed a run in his last eight outings.
-Brad Ziegler has not allowed an earned run in nine straight outings and in 11 straight outings at home.
He Said It
"He swung the bat good, he got some balls and he drove the one out of the ballpark. He had a double and actually hit another ball good so hopefully he feels a lot better at the plate." -- manager Kirk Gibson on Aaron Hill's performance Thursday night.
The Diamondbacks continue their home stand with a series against the San Diego Padres that starts Friday night. Right-hander Randall Delgado gets the nod for Arizona in game one of the three-game series. He's 2-3 with a 3.43 ERA and has allowed three runs or less in all seven of his starts. In two career starts against the Padres he's 0-1 with a 3.00 ERA in 11 2/3 innings pitched.
Left-hander Eric Stults will go for San Diego. He's 8-8 with a 3.45 ERA this season. First pitch is at 6:40 p.m. and can be heard on Arizona Sports 620.
Kyndra de St. Aubin, Reporter - Arizona Sports 98.7
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- Kevin Towers, D-backs GM - Wednesday March 5How important is it for professional athletes to have good character?
- Alan Trammell, D-backs bench coach - Tuesday March 4D-backs bench coach Alan Trammell discusses Archie Bradley's impressive Cactus League debut.
- Archie Bradley, Diamondbacks pitcher - Tuesday March 4Archie Bradley discusses his first Cactus League start against the Rockies.
- Richard Justice, MLB.com correspondent - Tuesday March 4Is baseball held to a higher standard than other sports?
- Brad Ziegler, D-backs relief pitcher - Monday March 3D-backs relief pitcher Brad Ziegler discusses the upcoming season.
- Jerry Crasnick, ESPN.com baseball writer - Monday March 3Jerry Crasnick previews the 2014 NL West.