ST. LOUIS (AP) — Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson felt starting pitcher Wade Miley deserved the chance to try to earn a win Thursday against the Cardinals.
So Gibson let Miley hit leading off the top of the seventh in a tie game. After the Diamondbacks failed to score, Miley went out and retired the first two batters in the bottom of that inning.
But a walk to Matt Holliday prolonged the inning, and Allen Craig followed with an RBI double that proved to be the difference, as the Cardinals went on to complete a three-game sweep with a 4-2 win.
Gibson did not want to pinch-hit for Miley (3-5) to start the seventh.
"I really didn’t think about that," Gibson said. "He was throwing the ball good.
"He’s earned the right to go back out there. I knew he wanted to stay in the game. I thought he’d earned that. I gave him a chance to shut them down and a chance to get the win."
Miley lasted 6 2/3 innings and allowed three runs and seven hits and four walks with three strikeouts. He was done in by Craig’s hit as well as a two-run double in the previous inning by Shane Robinson that tied the score.
"You got to make better pitches in that situation," Miley said. "It’s just the way it is."
Gibson said that the two-out RBI has been a staple of the Cardinals the past two years and is something the Diamondbacks need to improve on.
"They did a better job than we did," Gibson said. "We have to examine and it and see how we can get better with things we’ve been talking about, but we got a ways to go."
The sweep was the first of a three-game series this season for St. Louis, which has won seven of eight.
Pat Neshek (1-0) pitched scoreless seventh and eighth innings to pick up his first win as a Cardinal. Trevor Rosenthal retired Arizona in order in the ninth for his 14th save in 16 chances.
Matt Carpenter gave the Cardinals some insurance with a two-out RBI single off reliever Joe Thatcher in the eighth.
The Diamondbacks’ Paul Goldschmidt had an RBI single, and Aaron Hill drove in a run with a sacrifice fly.
The D-backs jumped on Cardinals starter Lance Lynn early.
Gerardo Parra led off the game with a single to right and went to second on a walk to Martin Prado. Goldschmidt singled to right to score Parra and move Prado to third. Hill then made Arizona’s first out, but it was a productive one, as his sacrifice fly to right made it 2-0.
But those were all the runs Lynn allowed. He lasted six innings and allowed seven hits and a walk while striking out six.
"I stopped throwing the ball down the middle," Lynn said. "I left a few balls up in the first. I was able to regroup."
St. Louis scored twice in the sixth to tie it at 2-2. With one out, Craig reached on an infield single to second. One out later, Craig moved to third on Peralta’s double down the line in left. Robinson then scored both of them when he followed Peralta with a double to the gap in left-center to tie it at 2-2.
NOTES: Holliday has reached base safely in all 21 home games. … Chase Anderson (2-0, 5.06 ERA) takes on Bartolo Colon (3-5) when the Diamondbacks open a three-game series at the Mets on Friday. … Goldschmidt has driven in 17 runs in his past 21 games.