D-backs look for the Miller who thrived with Braves
The Arizona Diamondbacks haven't lived up to their billing as a National League contender, and Shelby Miller hasn't yet turned into their solid No. 2 starter.
The visiting Diamondbacks finally snapped a lengthy losing streak in their opener against the lowly Atlanta Braves, and Miller hopes to follow with his first win on Saturday night against his former team.
Arizona (13-18) ended a season-high six-game skid with Friday's 7-2 victory - its fourth in the last six games of this series.
After scoring 21 runs during a 2-8 stretch, the Diamondbacks pounded out 10 hits for their highest scoring game since April 25. David Peralta had three hits and Welington Castillo added a two-run single.
Arizona hadn't scored more than four runs in its previous nine games.
"The at-bats were good," manager Chip Hale said. "Obviously, we left some runs out there, but we're getting better."
Miller (0-3, 8.49 ERA) pitched for Atlanta in 2015, but his 3.02 ERA was good enough for just a 6-17 record. The right-hander was traded to Arizona in December and has yet to scratch the win column, but this time it's been more his own fault.
He holds MLB's second-worst ERA for pitchers who have logged more than 21 innings. His 8.49 mark sits behind only Jake Peavy's 9.00 in that category, and he's failed to last four innings in three of his last four starts.
However, Miller's 1.82 ERA in four starts against Atlanta is his best among teams he has faced more than twice in his career.
Freddie Freeman is 4 for 10 with a home run against Miller and Kelly Johnson 4 for 9 with a double, while A.J. Pierzynski's one hit in three career matchups was a homer.
Miller's former teammate Julio Teheran will take the mound for the baseball-worst Braves (7-21) hoping to lead them to their fourth win in eight games.
Teheran (0-3, 3.72) is coming off his two best starts of the season, surrendering just eight hits and one run in 14 innings while walking four and striking out 17.
However, the right-hander was still denied his first win as the Braves combined to score three runs in those contests, falling 1-0 to Boston on April 25 and 4-3 at the Chicago Cubs on Sunday.
Teheran has won his last three career starts against Arizona, allowing three runs in 19 innings. He has a 2.17 career ERA in the matchup and struck out 24 in the previous three meetings.
Atlanta has never held a worse record through 28 games since its inaugural 1900 season, and the club is 1-13 at home after losing its last eight at Turner Field.
"I don't know if there are any words to describe it," Freeman said. "When you start 1-13 in front of your own fans at home, it's definitely not the start you want. We've got to pick it up and start playing better."
The Braves rank last in baseball with a .226 team batting average and 3.04 runs per game. Atlanta has totaled six runs in its last four games.