PHOENIX (AP) — Coming off a long road trip backloaded with long games, the Diamondbacks needed a few quality starts from their pitchers to give the bullpen a break.
Tyler Skaggs got them off to a good start in the series opener against the Rockies, and Wade Miley followed it up with another strong performance — with his arm and his bat.
Miley pitched eight effective innings and had a three-run double in the second inning, helping Arizona jump on Colorado early in an 11-1 rout Saturday night.
“He was really efficient with his pitches, his pitch count,” Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said. “It was just what we needed to give the bullpen a rest.”
The D-backs returned to the desert on Friday after a 10-game road trip that ended with a long series against the Mets that included rain delays and two games that lasted at least 15 innings.
Arizona beat Colorado 5-0 in the opener behind Skaggs’ eight innings and jumped on Drew Pomeranz (0-2) for five runs in the first three innings in the second game. Miley got it started with his third career double in the second inning, and Paul Goldschmidt, named to the NL All-Star team earlier in the day, hit his 21st homer in the third.
The Diamondbacks poured it on after that, adding a three-run homer by Miguel Montero and a two-run shot by Martin Prado. Cody Ross tied a team record and set a career high with five of Arizona’s 12 hits and scored three runs.
That gave Miley (5-7) the leeway to work around the edges of the plate, giving the Rockies few good pitches while leading the NL West-leading Diamondbacks to their fourth straight win.
“The bullpen got used a lot in New York with all those (extra-inning) games, and I was just trying to extend it, just go as long as you can to give them a break,” Miley said. “It was good.”
Colorado had four base runners in the series opener and did little more against Miley. All-Star Carlos Gonzalez hit his NL-leading 24th homer and had four hits after missing Friday’s game with a sore back, but the rest of the Rockies went 2 for 26, including 0 for 7 with runners in scoring position.
“I don’t know what the numbers are, but it seemed like he went strike one with just about every batter,” Colorado manager Walt Weiss said. “It is a lot easier to pitch that way. When you are 0-1, there are a lot more options that way, and that is what he did.”
Miley pitched 5 2/3 scoreless innings his last outing but didn’t get the decision in a game that went 13 innings. Staked with a big early lead against the Rockies, the left-hander was effective with runners on, helped by a pair of double plays in the first four innings.
Miley stretched his scoreless streak to a career-high 13 2/3 innings — 16 overall by Arizona pitchers — before Gonzalez led off the seventh with a long homer to left-center.
Miley pleaded with Gibson to stay in for a chance at his first career complete game but was lifted for a pinch hitter in the eighth inning. He allowed a run on five hits and struck out five to win for the first time in five starts.
“It was going good,” Miley said. “I was locating the fastball early to get ahead and kind of expand the plate a little bit. I was able to get some guys to make some awkward swings and put it in play, and we made plays.”
Pomeranz, who made 22 starts for the Rockies last season, spent most of this year at Triple-A Colorado Springs before being called up to pitch against the Giants on Sunday, a game in which he allowed four runs on seven hits — two of those homers — in 4 1/3 innings of a 5-2 loss.
The left-hander labored from the start, needing 10 pitches to get leadoff hitter A.J. Pollock and going over 40 in the first two innings. He walked two to load the bases in the second inning, and Miley followed with his fourth hit of the season, a three-run double slapped into the corner in left.
Pomeranz opened the third inning with another walk, then left a letter-high fastball up to Goldschmidt, who hit it into the second deck in left for a two-run homer that put the Diamondbacks up 5-0 and increased his NL-leading RBI total to 73.
Pomeranz worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the fourth inning after walking Goldschmidt but was lifted after that. He allowed five runs on five hits and walked five.
“It is frustrating, but I have to put my team in a better spot to win the game,” said Pomeranz, who has lost seven of his past eight decisions dating to last season. “You can’t do that being down 5-0 after three innings.”
NOTES: Ross became the 16th player in franchise history with five hits, the first since Aaron Hill on Sept. 4, 2012. … The Diamondbacks had an extra-base hit in their 71st straight game, matching the sixth-longest streak in team history (2006). … Colorado’s Michael Cuddyer had a double in the seventh inning to extend his road hitting streak to 15 games. … D-backs LHP Patrick Corbin will make his seventh attempt at reaching 10 wins when he starts against the Rockies on Sunday. The All-Star is 0-1 over his last six starts. … RHP Roy Oswalt will try for his first win since signing with the Rockies in May in the series finale. He’s made three starts since being called up, going 0-3 with a 7.88 ERA.