PHOENIX — Feast or famine.
That’s the best way to describe Wade Miley’s outing against the Cincinnati Reds, who either swung and hit the ball out of the ballpark or swung and missed completely.
Miley allowed four home runs, all solo shots, but also managed to strike out nine and walk none, adding his name to a rather elite group. Only four other pitchers since 1914 finished a start with four or more home runs, nine or more strikeouts and no walks.
“I wish I didn’t have to be a part of that,” Miley said about joining Homer Bailey (April 14, 2014 vs. Pirates),
Hiroki Kuroda (Sept. 5, 2011 at Nationals), David Wells (May 11, 2011 vs. Rangers) and Steve Carlton (July 9, 1978 vs. Expos).
“I felt great,” Miley continued. “I felt like I was getting ahead in counts, moving the ball around; just those four pitches.”
Zach Cozart and Todd Frazier hit home runs in the third, Ryan Ludwick in the fourth and Chris Heisey in the fifth to help the Reds win the series finale, 4-3 before an announced crowd of 24,119 at Chase Field on Sunday afternoon.
“(Miley) pitched well, except for the four pitches and those guys hammered him,” manager Kirk Gibson said. “On the other side, I though we swung the bats pretty well today. We hit a lot of balls and they made some plays on us.”
The Diamondbacks’ offense — with a Venezuelan flavor to it — really came alive in the fourth.
Trailing 3-0, Miguel Montero, Martin Prado, David Peralta and Ender Inciarte all had hits. Montero drove in the first run with a double to right, Eric Chavez followed two batters later with a sacrifice fly and then Inciarte capped the three-run inning with a single to right.
The Diamondbacks, who dropped to 5-24 when the opponent scores first, lost the final three games of the series against the Reds and finished the homestand 3-4.
“It just wasn’t meant to be today and that’s frustrating,” Gibson said. “At the end, they just shut us down.”
David Peralta became the sixth Diamondback with a multi-hit game in his Major League debut and first since Adam Eaton on Sept. 4, 2012 at San Francisco. Peralta, promoted from Double-A Mobile earlier in the day, had a pair of singles to center. He finished 2-for-4.
With nine strikeouts recorded, Wade Miley has struck out 20 batters in his past two starts. He leads the Diamondbacks with 72 strikeouts this season, including five outings of seven or more Ks.
Miley also continued his prowess at the plate. A single to left in his first at-bat was his sixth hit of the season, the most among Diamondbacks pitchers, snapping a tie with Bronson Arroyo.
Miguel Montero recorded his second multi-hit game of the homestand, going 2-for-4 with a run scored.
Martin Prado went 2-for-4 and is now batting .325 (25-for-77) with 15 RBI in his last 20 games.
Oliver Perez has not allowed a run in his last nine appearances.
Wade Miley surrendered two solo home runs in the third and one in each of the fourth and fifth innings. Miley has allowed 14 homers this season, the most among Diamondbacks pitchers and the second-most in all of baseball, trailing only Milwaukee’s Marco Estrada (17).
Counting the career-high four home runs Miley gave up, the Diamondbacks, as a team, have now surrendered the most long balls in the majors (6) — one more than the Brewers.
Paul Goldschmidt went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts (60, team-high) and a walk, dropping his batting average under .300 for the first time this season. He’s at .299.
STAT OF THE GAME:
4: The number of runs the Reds scored on four solo home runs against starter Wade Miley
HE SAID IT:
“You can’t say they’re all good pitches,” Gibson said of his team’s 69 home runs allowed this season. “You hope you can get away with some bad pitches, but…they’re going out of the park. They’re not exactly where they need to be. We’ve had to pay for it.”
• First time in club history the Diamondbacks had five Venezuelans in the starting lineup — tied for the most in the Majors since 1998 — with RF Gerardo Parra, C Miguel Montero, 3B Martin Prado, LF David Peralta and CF Ender Inciarte.
• First time in Major League history a team has started five Venezuelan players and each has collected at least one base hit; the five accounted for eight of the Diamondbacks nine hits and two of the three runs scored.
• Sunday marked the third time since the start of the 2011 season that the Diamondbacks featured seven left-handed/switch hitters in the same lineup — also on July 27, 2013 against Pittsburgh and May 27, 2013 against the Rangers.
• Wade Miley is the second Diamondbacks left-handed pitcher with nine or more strikeouts in back-to-back starts in the last six seasons, joining Patrick Corbin who accomplished the feat on July 7 and 12 in 2013.
• Baxter celebrated his birthday with several local mascots, including “The Gorilla” (Phoenix Suns), “Big Red” (Arizona Cardinals), “Howler” (Phoenix Coyotes), “Sparky” (Arizona State), “Scorch” (Phoenix Mercury), “Stryker” (Arizona Rattlers).
A travel day. The Diamondbacks leave on Monday for a short trip to Colorado before returning right back to the Valley three games later. Chase Anderson is scheduled to start the series opener on Tuesday, June 3. First pitch is scheduled for 5:40 p.m. with pregame coverage beginning 30 minutes earlier on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.
Anderson (3-0, 4.02) became the first Diamondbacks rookie to open his career with three straight wins and is only one of eight starters in the Majors since 1998 to win at least his first three outings. He’ll be opposed by left-hander Jorge De La Rosa (6-3, 3.66), who is 6-0 in his last seven starts.
The Diamondbacks have dropped four of six to the Rockies this season.