However you slice it, Wade Miley is having trouble with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Heck, the Arizona Diamondbacks are having a hard time as well.
Miley dropped to 1-3, while the D-backs dropped to 1-8 — including 0-6 at home — against their division rivals this season.
The latest setback was a 7-0 shutout in front of 31,154 fans in the first-ever “Elvis Night” at Chase Field on Friday.
“We’ve got to figure something out, because obviously it’s not fun getting beat by those guys over and over at our place, on our home field. We’ve got to make some adjustments,” Miley said.
The Dodgers earned a club record seventh-straight road victory against the Diamondbacks behind the right arm of Zack Greinke, who pitched eight scoreless innings. He retired 10 straight at one point and did not allow a runner to reach third base.
“Tonight we ran into a good pitcher. Obviously, we can’t win any game scoring zero runs,” A.J. Pollock said.
Greinke improved to 7-1, matching his career-best start. He received the only run he would need on Yasiel Puig’s solo home run in the third inning, which extended the outfielder’s career-high hitting streak to 15 games.
Scott Van Slyke added his own solo shot in the sixth, a blast that measured 454-feet — the longest at Chase Field this season, according to ESPN Stats & Info.
It was the fifth time the Diamondbacks had been shut out this season, including the second time by the Dodgers.
“We’re on a bad roll here,” manager Kirk Gibson said. “We’ll search. We’ll think about some answers, and we’ll try to come out and play better (Saturday).”
Aaron Hill singled in his first plate appearance and is now batting .319 (15-for-47) with a double, two home runs and seven RBI in 12 games in May.
Gerardo Parra went 1-for-4 and has now hit safely in 12 of his last 13 games (.304, 17-for-56) and reached base safely in 21 of his last 22 (.297, 27-for-91).
Pollock went 1-for-2 with a walk and has now hit safely in eight of his last nine games (.367, 11-for-30).
Fortunately, the only damage was increasing his pitch count. Miley walked three batters, but none scored, in the first two innings. He had issued a free pass only twice in his previous three starts combined (20 innings).
Miley surrendered his ninth and 10th home runs of the season in six innings of work. He served up a 92 mph fastball to Puig with one out in the third inning, and then his first offering to Van Slyke in the sixth inning was crushed halfway up the batter’s eye in center field. The 10 home runs are the most among Diamondbacks pitchers and tied for the second-most in all of baseball.
Miley gave up two other runs, both with two outs, in the fourth inning as A.J. Ellis and Greinke each recorded their first RBI of the season. Ellis had a run-scoring single to right while Greinke doubled to the wall in right-center field, allowing Ellis to score all the way from first.
Randall Delgado relieved Miley in the seventh and promptly allowed the first three batters to reach base. He allowed two runs in the seventh plus a run in the eighth in his two-inning stint. Delgado also uncorked two wild pitches and had a handful of other throws bounce in the dirt near home plate.
The Diamondbacks wasted an opportunity in the second inning. The first two batters reached — Hill with a single and Pollock with a walk — but then Chris Owings popped out on a bunt attempt and Ender Inciarte grounded into an inning-ending double play.
STAT(S) OF THE GAME
0: The number of innings the Diamondbacks have led the Dodgers in six home games — whether in Sydney, Australia, or in Phoenix — this season.
.438: The career batting average of Van Slyke vs. Miley; he is 7-for-16 with three doubles and four home runs in total.
HE SAID IT
“It’s getting ridiculous,” Miley said of Van Slyke’s success against him. “He’s on me right now, but … I’m not making good pitches to him at all. I’m just not making good pitches to Van Slyke. The pitches he’s hitting are — he’s supposed to hit them, like fastballs, right down the middle. It happened in Australia. It happened here. It happened in L.A. the last start.”
– Greinke induced three double plays, erasing three of the D-backs’ seven base runners.
– Greinke threw a first-pitch strike to 13 of the first 15 and 19 of the 28 total batters he faced.
– Greinke’s first four strikeouts were swing-and-misses by Paul Goldschmidt and Miguel Montero, who each struck out in their first two plate appearances. Goldschmidt struck out once more in the ninth.
– Greinke has given up two or fewer runs in 21 consecutive starts, the longest such streak by a Major League starter since at least 1914.
– Miley became only the third Diamondbacks pitcher in franchise history to make four starts in the first 50 games against an NL West opponent, joining Brandon Webb and Livan Hernandez, who each recorded four starts against the Rockies in 2007.
We get to find out what Chase Anderson does for an encore. The rookie right-hander won his Major League-debut 5-1 on the road against the Chicago White Sox on May 11, allowing one run in 5.1 innings. He makes his second career start and first at Chase Field on Saturday.
First pitch is scheduled for 5:10 p.m. with pregame coverage beginning 30 minutes earlier on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. Anderson (1-0, 1.69) will be opposed by Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw, who has made consecutive starts with nine strikeouts and zero walks since returning from the disabled list. Kershaw (2-0, 1.74) beat the Diamondbacks on opening day in Australia, but he has struggled at Chase Field, losing four straight starts since August 7, 2011, while posting a 4.15 ERA in those losses.