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D-backs’ Shelby Miller leaves game after first inning with elbow tightness

(AP Photo/Matt York)

Arizona Diamondbacks right-hander Shelby Miller had a rocky start Wednesday, lasting just one inning before exiting an eventual 19-2 loss with right elbow tightness against the Colorado Rockies.

In his fourth MLB start of the season, Miller allowed five earned runs on four hits for an 11.40 ERA in 1.0 innings pitched. He threw 37 pitches (22 strikes), walked two batters and struck out one.

“He was experiencing some right elbow tightness and right now he is on is way back to Phoenix to be examined by our doctors tomorrow,” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said after the game. “He was giving us everything he possibly could, but he felt some discomfort toward the tail end of his outing so we removed him from the game for precautionary reasons.”

Everything looked to be going the way the D-backs wanted.

First baseman Paul Goldschmidt started things off with a solo shot in the first inning and the momentum was quickly on the D-backs’ side.

Then the bottom of the inning came around and instead of looking at a 1-0 lead, the D-backs fell into a 5-1 hole.

Things seemed to be trending up for the right-handed Miller before Wednesday’s early exit.

After making a number of rehab starts, Miller was given the green light to rejoin the big league team.

He struggled in his first start back, going 3.2 innings and allowing five earned runs on six hits. He struck out 11.

But in his second and third starts, Miller was able to last at least five innings with his best start coming July 5. He gave up three earned runs on five hits, striking out seven in the 6-3 loss to the San Diego Padres.

On Wednesday, Jorge De La Rosa relieved Miller in the second inning, but the Rockies continued to pour it on Arizona, which required position players Daniel Descalso and Alex Avila to pitch the final 4.2 innings.

“He definitely didn’t seem himself,” D-backs starting catcher Avila said of Miller. “He was kind of struggling to command really anything, noticing him grimacing on occasion when he’d throw a pitch. Obviously there was something wrong there.”

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