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Mon, Aug 12, 2013 - 9:40 PM ET
 

Orioles-Diamondbacks Preview

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Wade Miley has been among the best pitchers in baseball over the past six weeks.

He's been just as impressive over the last two years during interleague play.

Miley looks to continue those strong runs and help the Arizona Diamondbacks extend their interleague success at home against the Baltimore Orioles on Monday night.

Miley (9-8, 3.56 ERA) is 5-1 with a 1.54 ERA while limiting opponents to a .210 batting average and four home runs over his last seven starts. That's a dramatic improvement after he was 1-6 with a 5.88 ERA with opponents hitting .306 with 11 homers during his previous nine outings.

"He has really simplified things," manager Kirk Gibson told the team's official website. "He got in a spot earlier where he was overthinking and he couldn't control the ball. Now he's just throwing the ball where he wants to more."

It's certainly looked that way since Miley has won his last three starts with a 0.86 ERA. He was superb again Tuesday, yielding one run in seven innings of a 6-1 victory over Tampa Bay.

"You want to get a good rhythm going," Miley said. "That's when you have success. Earlier I was getting upset with myself after one or two small mistakes and it's kind of snowballed. I get too quick and I'm just firing it up there, no mindset, no thought."

The left-hander, though, seems to strive against AL foes, going 4-1 with a 1.30 ERA in six career interleague starts.

He may need another dominant outing in his first meeting with the Orioles (65-52), who are hitting .298 with 13 homers while winning seven of their past nine against the NL.

The Diamondbacks (59-57) have won nine of 10 interleague home games over the past two years, hitting .334 with 18 homers in those contests.

Paul Goldschmidt has a .364 average over that span, but he's 4 for 33 with two homers and four RBIs in his last nine games at Chase Field. He also had a three-run error in the opening inning of a 9-5 loss to the New York Mets on Sunday.

He may be in for another rough time at the plate in this series since Baltimore's pitchers have a 2.20 ERA while going 4-1 on this nine-game road trip against NL West teams. Baltimore took two of three from San Francisco over the weekend after Sunday's 10-2 victory.

"We've actually pitched pretty well (in NL parks), knock on wood, with it. I think it's good in a way," manager Buck Showalter told the team's official website.

Showalter now turns to Scott Feldman (2-3, 5.70), who has lost his last two starts while surrendering nine runs and 13 hits in 9 2-3 innings. The right-hander is also coming off his shortest outing since being acquired from the Chicago Cubs last month, giving up five runs in 4 2-3 innings of an 8-4 loss to Seattle on Aug. 3.

Feldman has a 5.73 ERA while going 0-1 in two starts versus Arizona.

That may increase the onus on the Orioles' hitters, and Adam Jones is on a tear. The center fielder has put together a nine-game hitting streak, during which he's batting .472 with 11 RBIs. He had a three-run homer and an RBI double Sunday, giving him a .357 average in 14 interleague games this year.

After the win, however, Jones said via Twitter to his followers someone in the stands threw a banana in his direction in the ninth inning. Two hours later, he followed with another tweet that read, "I love how some ppl are defending the actions by someone today. Shows how u really are also. All good wit me. I just #StayHungry."

Chris Davis, who leads the majors with 42 homers and is second with 109 RBIs, has a .434 average with six homers while driving in 12 runs against the NL in 2013. He hit .210 with eight homers in interleague play over his first five seasons.

Tagged: Orioles, Diamondbacks

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