Sedona Red Recap: Shelby Miller fails to pick up first win since return to D-backs

Sep 17, 2016, 9:37 PM
Arizona Diamondbacks' Shelby Miller, right, pauses as catcher Welington Castillo, left, talks with ...

Arizona Diamondbacks' Shelby Miller, right, pauses as catcher Welington Castillo, left, talks with the pitcher during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016, in Phoenix. The Dodgers defeated the Diamondbacks 6-2. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX — Shelby Miller was pitching well at the start of his fourth outing since being called back up to the Arizona Diamondbacks, but all it took was a couple of poor defensive plays and one slightly misplaced pitch to give him loss No. 12 on the season.

The D-backs dropped the third of a four-game series to the Los Angeles Dodgers 6-2 in front of 38,255 fans at Chase Field.

The troubles for Arizona began in the first inning when Yasmany Tomas’ small misplay to a bounce on a ball hit down the right field line by Corey Seager made a possible triple an absolute certainty. The next hitter, Justin Turner, brought in Seager on a sacrifice fly.

Miller (2-12) bounced back and was throwing strikes, but after showing some signs of losing control in the third inning, he allowed the first two batters in the fourth inning to reach base.

Another mistake by a D-backs fielder led to a Dodgers run after Welington Castillo had a Miller pitch get by him on the next batter in the fourth. He then proceeded to soar a throw to third base into left field, bringing in the second run of the game for Los Angeles.

During that same at-bat, Joc Pederson hit a missile into the right field seats for a two-run homer and gave Los Angeles a 4-1 lead. Just like that, two blunders by the D-backs defense and one misstep by Miller had the Dodgers in firm control.

Miller finished the night going 5.1 innings, giving up seven hits and four runs (all earned). Dodgers starting pitcher Brock Stewart pitched only five innings, but picked up his second win of the season.

THE GOOD

Jean Segura’s hot hitting and quest for 200 hits got off to a great start Saturday. Segura homered into the D-backs’ bullpen in left field to lead off the game, giving him his seventh lead off home run of the season and fifth long ball in five games.

Miller was aggressive and finding the strike zone early. He threw first-pitch strikes to the first six hitters he faced and 21 of his first 27 pitches were strikes.

THE BAD

Tomas’ adventure in the outfield continues. His aforementioned poor play on Seager’s triple was off what D-backs manager Chip Hale called a “strange bounce” after the game. Either way, it took Tomas a long time to retrieve the ball and throw it in, which led to Miller raising his hands in the air. Miller said after the game his reaction was because he thought the ball was foul and that Paul Goldschmidt agreed when he asked. The hit for Seager, by the way, tied a Dodgers rookie record for hits in a season (180) that he broke later in the night. Get used to seeing him.

After Miller’s promising start, you could start to see the wheels falling off before the Pederson long ball. His second time facing Seager in the third inning was the first time he fell behind 3-1 to a hitter up to that point. Seager walked, and then Miller also allowed a favorable 2-0 count to Turner. While Turner grounded out, the next inning began with him walking Adrian Gonzalez on four straight pitches after being ahead 0-1, and then a bloop single was hit by Josh Reddick.

Following Pederson’s homer in the fourth, the D-backs began to rally in the bottom half of the inning. Castillo made up for his error by hitting a solo homer. Later in the inning, a Tomas single and Brandon Drury walk brought up Mitch Haniger, who singled to left field. Tomas tried to score, but an outstanding throw by Andrew Toles had Tomas out by 20 feet.

Goldschmidt could not figure out Stewart. He went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts against the Dodgers right-hander.

STAT OF THE GAME

5: Segura’s lead off home run to start the game was his fifth homer in the past five games, also giving him five for the month. The only time Segura has done that in his career was May 2013.

HE SAID IT

“Pretty good. The home run by Pederson, obviously, the pitch was down, just missed location, but he hit it well. After that I thought he rebounded back and pitched well,” – D-backs manager Chip Hale on Miller’s outing.

NOTED

– Saturday was Childhood Cancer Awareness Day at the ballpark. Fans who bought a special ticket package received a D-backs Go Gold t-shirt, with a portion of the funds going to childhood cancer organizations.

– Segura now has 186 hits on the season.

– Arizona called up catcher Oscar Hernandez prior to Saturday night’s game.

– Drury’s eight-game hitting streak ended.

– Mascots and representatives from the Mexican Pacific League were all at Chase Field as a part of the Los D-backs Fiesta de la Familia event.

UP NEXT

The D-backs conclude their homestand and series against the Dodgers Sunday at 1:10 p.m., with pregame coverage beginning 40 minutes earlier on ESPN Phoenix 620 AM.

Robbie Ray will take the mound for Arizona while Los Angeles will counter with Jose De Leon.

After struggling in 2015 to pitch deep into games, Ray (8-13) will be looking to make September his fifth straight month of going at least seven innings in a start.

Ray has failed to build off his terrific August this month, when the 24-year-old had a 2.70 ERA, his only month of the season posting a sub-four ERA. In his last three starts, Ray has allowed 12 earned runs in 15.1 innings.

De Leon (2-0) is a consensus top 50 prospect in baseball that has benefitted from an injury-riddled Dodgers rotation. In his MLB debut on Sept. 4, De Leon became starter No. 15 for Los Angeles in 2016. The Dodgers had 12 pitchers on the DL at the time of his call up.

The 24-year-old right-hander has had issues with the long ball in his two starts, allowing three home runs in his two starts. He did win both, though, posting a 4.09 ERA on the season.

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