PHOENIX — Without a lot of fanfare, Wade Miley has made his way into the top 10 in the National League in quality starts this season. He has 18, as many as Mat Latos and Madison Bumgarner and more than Jordan Zimmermann and Matt Cain.
Miley was at it again Wednesday, giving up only two runs in seven innings, but he did not receive much help in the Diamondbacks’ 5-1 loss to San Diego at Chase Field.
He gave up hits to three of the first five batters he faced, enough for the Padres to score twice and avoid a three-game sweep.
“I thought I made some pretty good pitches in the first. They did a pretty good job of putting some balls in play and hitting some balls hard. That’s the way it goes,” Miley said.
Willie Bloomquist, in his first game back from two months on the disabled list, provided most of the D-backs’ offense with three singles. His inside-out line dive to right field drove in Eric Chavez with two outs in the sixth inning, but the D-backs could not push another run across and left 10 on base.
Miley just needed a little more. He gave up only one hit in his final five innings and finished with five strikeouts and one walk, the kind of effort that has marked his last three months.
“After the first inning he made adjustments and started throwing his pitches better,” D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said.
Miley has been the D-backs’ most consistent starter after Patrick Corbin, whose 21 quality starts are third in the NL, and he has been on a nice run since giving up seven runs in back-to-back outings in his lsat two starts of May, once against San Diego. His 9-9 record is not an accurate gauge.
Miley has given up as many as four earned runs in only one of his 16 starts since May 31, and had been unbeaten in his previous six starts. Five were quality, but he did not get a decision in three despite giving up two, three and four runs. A failed save conversion cost him one victory.
Since the start of June, Miley is 6-4 with a 2.66 ERA. Since the start of July, he is 5-2 with a 2.29 ERA. He credits teammate Cliff Pennington with a positive pep talk during a loss in Wrigley Field on May 31 for the turnaround.
“I just kept attacking them,” Miley said.
Starter Trevor Cahill was an emergency bullpen option Wednesday, but the D-backs did not have to go there after Miley gave them seven innings, and Cahill remained in line to make a Saturday start.