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Arizona Diamondbacks' Shelby Miller pitches during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies, Monday, June 20, 2016, in Philadelphia. Arizona won 3-1. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
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Chip Hale: Two more strong starts could help Shelby Miller return to D-backs

Arizona Diamondbacks' Shelby Miller pitches during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies, Monday, June 20, 2016, in Philadelphia. Arizona won 3-1. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
LISTEN: Chip Hale, D-backs' Manager

It’s contingent on continued success, but Diamondbacks manager Chip Hale said a few more dominant outings by demoted pitcher Shelby Miller in Triple-A could lead to his return to the big leagues.

Miller is coming off a three-hit, seven-inning appearance Thursday where he struck out eight and held the Salt Lake Bees scoreless in a seven-inning double-header game.

“I would say if he pitches like he did in Salt Lake, two more in a row, it’ll be hard to keep him out of the big leagues,” Hale told Burns and Gambo on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “(Reno manager) Phil Nevin said he did a great job. I know (Chief baseball officer Tony La Russa) talked to some people, I guess some guys who faced him, I know (pitching coach Mike Butcher) talked with some people from Anaheim that he knows, pitching coaches. The stuff was electric. The fastball was jumping out of his hand, the breaking ball cutter was working really good.

“Let’s get him one or two more of those and maybe we’ll see him up here.”

PLAYING FAST

Arizona closed out the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday thanks to a fifth inning that included five multi-base knocks.

Hale obviously won’t complain, but how the D-backs’ bats opened the game up offensively began with smallball an inning earlier, where safety squeezes and the threat of stolen bases got the Brewers to panic more than once.

Unfortunately, that’s the type of ball the current roster makeup might be hard to produce.

“That’s kind of the way I’d like to play the rest of the year,” Hale said of putting pressure on opponents. “It’s difficult when you look at our lineup, and you’re lining up  (Paul) Goldschmidt, (Rickie) Weeks, (Yasmany) Tomas, (Jake) Lamb — you know four in a row — there’s not a whole lot of running and gunning you can do there. But when we have an opportunity with Segura, Bourn, Owings, the pitcher’s spot … you almost want to play it like a fullcourt press offense in basketball or two-minute offense in football.”

QUOTABLE

“He feels comfortable. You watch him, he’s got a real calmness about his game. He’s starting to get it, figure it out. Now, I think the next step is to hit better with guys in scoring position. Once he gets that, he’s going to be a real beast in this league.” — Hale on Yasmany Tomas

 

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