CHICAGO (AP) — May was miserable for Wade Miley. The left-hander lost his fourth straight decision Friday and was roughed up for seven runs and three home runs as the Diamondbacks lost 7-2 to the Cubs.
Miley (3-5), an All-Star as a rookie last season, has given up 22 earned runs over his past four starts. In six May starts, he’s gone 1-5 and posted a 7.34 ERA. Despite struggling early, Miley managed to last seven innings, allowing no runs in his final four frames and retiring 13 of the final 14 batters he faced.
“Pretty frustrated,” Miley said of his May performance. “But you got to take those four innings — I feel like that’s more me. I got to move on from there. Throw the other stuff behind me. Quit thinking, get the mental stuff out of my head and just go pitch, you know, compete.”
Miley’s rough start was the second in a row for Arizona, which has lost four straight on the road. On Thursday, Brandon McCarthy lasted 2 2/3 innings and allowed nine hits and six runs in a 9-5 loss to the Rangers.
Alfonso Soriano hit a two-run homer in the first to give the Cubs a 2-0 advantage.
The Cubs then broke it open in with a five-run third. David DeJesus singled and Anthony Rizzo doubled with one out before Soriano was intentionally walked, and Scott Hairston followed by hitting a 1-1 pitch into the left-field bleachers for his third career grand slam to put the Cubs up 6-0.
Cody Ransom followed with a solo shot one out later to extend the lead to 7-0.
Hairston’s grand slam was the second in two games for the Cubs. Pitcher Travis Wood hit one on Thursday in a win over the White Sox. It also gave them grand slams in consecutive games at Wrigley Field for the first time since Jim Hickman and Burt Hooton did it Sept. 15-16, 1972, against the Mets.
Manager Kirk Gibson took no solace in the fact that Miley was able to bounce back after a rough few innings and give his team some much-needed work.
“Well, we’re not here to save our bullpen, we’re here to win games,” Gibson said. “He didn’t throw the ball very good, made some mistakes.”
Gibson was quick to respond when asked if Miley could build off his final four frames.
“He better,” Gibson said. “Not going to let him keep going out there and do that. That’s a tough go when you’re out there down six or seven.”
Miley said that he was more relaxed and focused after the Cubs’ five-run third. He emphasized that it wasn’t a problem with his stuff but rather a confidence issue.
Catcher Miguel Montero said Miley “was like the old Wade,” after the third, but Montero actually thought there may have been something wrong with the lefty early on.
“He threw the ball really well after the third,” Montero said. “Actually, I thought he was hurt, to be honest. He was throwing 88-89 and I was like, ‘Is he all right?’ But I went and talked to him and he said he was fine.”
Matt Garza was strong all game for Chicago. Making just his third start of the season since coming off the disabled list with a strained back muscle, Garza (1-0) pitched seven innings and allowed two runs and six hits while striking out four for his first victory since July 15 of last season.
“He’s got good stuff,” Gibson said. “Showing up at 96, he knows how to pitch. He’s just come back, he’s fresh. Guy knows how to pitch, threw a good game.”
The D-backs scored two runs in the sixth off Garza on a Didi Gregorius sacrifice fly and Montero’s RBI double.
NOTES: Before Friday’s game the Diamondbacks placed 3B Eric Chavez on the 15-day disabled list with a strained oblique he suffered Thursday while batting. They also activated utility man Willie Bloomquist, who had missed two months with an oblique strain. Chavez is hitting .325 with seven home runs. … Soriano’s home run was his 18th in his 145th career at-bat against Arizona. … The announced attendance of 24,645 was the smallest of the season at Wrigley Field. … The umpiring crew at Wrigley Field also worked Thursday’s Royals-Cardinals game in St. Louis that ended at 3:14 a.m. Friday morning. Friday’s game was the lone day game in baseball. … Garza went 0 for 3 at the plate, keeping Cubs pitchers at 19 RBIs in May, the most by a pitching staff during one month in NL history. … Saturday’s pitching matchup features the Diamondbacks’ Ian Kennedy (2-3, 4.70) against the Cubs’ Jeff Samardzija (3-6, 2.85).