D-backs light up Phillies early, hold on for win
PHOENIX (AP) — Often as Justin Upton goes, so go the Arizona Diamondbacks.
For the first time this season, Upton looked like his old self Monday night. That was good news for Arizona and bad news for the struggling Philadelphia Phillies.
Upton hit his first home run of the season, singled and had a sacrifice fly in Arizona’s 9-5 victory. His lone out was a hard-hit line drive. The left thumb he injured sliding into a base on April 8 had kept him from swinging a bat for some time.
Now he’s getting his rhythm back.
“I’m starting to feel better,” Upton said. “The doc kind of gave me the go-ahead that it’s not going to get any worse, so I’ll just play through it. It’s been good so far.’
He worked in the batting cage on his swing for a long while Sunday.
“It’s more my swing path than anything,” Upton said. “When I was playing with the thumb, that kind of got messed up. Now that I’m feeling better I’m able to get a lot more work in. I actually wasn’t swinging the bat before. Now I’m able to really get in the cage and get some work in and it’s kind of paying off.”
Left-hander Wade Miley, starting in place of injured Daniel Hudson, stifled the Phillies on two hits through six scoreless innings. He said he wasn’t told he was starting until Sunday night.
“I wasn’t real sure what was going on. It really doesn’t matter,” Miley said. “Starting, it really doesn’t matter. Whenever you get to pitch, just go out and pitch.”
Kyle Kendrick replaced an injured Cliff Lee for Philadelphia and lasted just three innings plus one batter, allowing seven runs and 11 hits.
“Balls down the middle, that is what’s going to happen,” Kendrick said. “I made some good pitches that they hit, but most of them were hanging balls right in the middle.”
The Phillies have been outscored 20-7 in three straight losses.
Jason Kubel homered and doubled twice, tying a career best with three hits. Miley (2-0) struck out seven and walked one in his first start of the season.
Philadelphia scored all five runs in the ninth inning, including a three-run homer by Shane Victorino and Carlos Ruiz’s solo shot. Victorino’s drive was the first home run with a man on base for the Phillies this season.
“Let’s look at the positive,” Victorino said. “Let’s look at never giving up, putting up a fight that last inning. Getting five runs is a positive thing to look at.”
Kubel, the left fielder, also threw out Pete Orr trying to score from second to end the eighth inning. Arizona catcher Miguel Montero blocked the plate and held onto the ball in the subsequent collision.
John McDonald had three hits and an RBI and Cody Ransom doubled in two runs in Arizona’s highest-scoring game of the season. Six Diamondbacks had RBIs.
The Phillies, already riddled with injuries, were without Hunter Pence because of a sore shoulder. He was injured diving for a fly ball in Sunday’s 6-1 loss at San Diego. Lee is on the 15-day disabled list with a strained muscle in his left side.
Hudson is on the DL for Arizona with an impingement in his right shoulder.
The 25-year-old Miley allowed three baserunners –including doubles by Freddy Galvis in the third and John Mayberry Jr. in the fifth. Miley walked Placido Polanco in the sixth.
The Phillies’ ninth-inning outburst came against left-hander Joe Paterson, who in his last two outings faced 10 batters without getting an out and allowed seven runs. Craig Breslow relieved Paterson and wrapped up the victory.
Arizona pounded Kendrick for four runs on five hits in the first inning. Gerardo Parra and Aaron Hill started the game with doubles, then Hill stole third and came home on Upton’s sacrifice fly. It was the first RBI of the season for Upton.
The Diamondbacks got two more in the second on Ransom’s two-out double with the bases loaded after consecutive singles by Hill, Upton and Montero.
Upton’s booming home run deep into the left-field seats leading off the fourth ended Kendrick’s night. Two batters later, Kubel hit his second home run on David Herndon’s 1-1 pitch to make it 8-0.
Upton also made a nice running catch of Galvis’ deep fly in the eighth.
NOTES: Philadelphia entered batting .212 in the first seven games of its 10-game road trip out West. In their previous six games, the Diamondbacks were hitting .196. … Upton’s first RBI came in his 40th at-bat this season. His home run was his first in 59 at-bats dating to last season. … Miley is 4-0 at Chase Field. … Arizona sends Josh Collmenter, who is 0-1 with a whopping 10.22 ERA, to the mound against Philadelphia’s Vance Worley (1-1, 2.37) in the second game of the series Tuesday night. … The nine runs were the most allowed by the Phillies this season. … Highlights of the Phoenix Coyotes’ series-clinching 4-0 NHL playoff victory at Chicago were shown on the big screen to big cheers from the crowd. … Arizona’s A.J. Pollack singled in the eighth for his first big league hit.