Justin Upton had a tremendous return to Chase Field, going 4-for-5 with a mammoth two-run homer in the Atlanta Braves’ 10-1 rout of the Arizona Diamondbacks Monday night.
Lost amid all the attention that was rightfully showered on Upton was the rough outing endured by D-backs’ lefty Wade Miley.
The 26-year-old allowed seven runs on six hits, two of which were home runs, and walked two in 5.1 innings of work. Miley lost for the second time in his last three decisions, and didn’t sugarcoat his performance following the game.
“I just started missing up,” he said. “Early in the game, I was hitting spots and was pitching down in the zone and just like that, I didn’t get it down anymore, I left pitches up, and they capitalized.”
Miley ran into problems in the fifth inning, thanks in part to some shoddy defense behind him. With Arizona leading 1-0, third baseman Martin Prado threw high to first on a bouncing ball from Evan Gattis leading off the frame. Miley then walked Brian McCann and uncorked a wild pitch to Dan Uggla, who then scored Gattis on a sac fly to center.
Another former D-back Chris Johnson then unloaded on a first pitch slider, sending it over the left field wall and making it 3-1 Atlanta.
The trouble continued in the sixth, when Miley plunked B.J. Upton and his little brother tattooed a 2-0 changeup 440 feet over the center field wall to extend the lead to 6-1.
“After the fourth inning, I started making mistakes, leaving balls up, changeups up, breaking balls weren’t down like I wanted them to,” Miley said. “I just made bad pitches.”
But Miley didn’t limit his struggles to just Monday night’s game.
“I haven’t been throwing well this season, period,” he said. “Whatever the numbers are, I don’t really pay any attention to any of that stuff.
“I’ve just got to work on some things and get back after it.”
One of Miley’s problems has been issuing walks — 19 of them in his first eight starts. Through the same number of starts last season, when Miley won 16 games and finished second in the National League Rookie of the Year voting, he issued only 12.
Monday, Miley issued two free passes and both came around to score.
“You don’t want to walk people, period,” D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. “It’s uncharacteristic of him, but that’s what it is, we’ll have to try to work with him between his next start and clean it up.”
Miley is scheduled to take the hill again Sunday in Miami against the Marlins.