Miller better, but D-backs still lose to Cardinals 8-2
Apr. 27, 2016
PHOENIX (AP) — Shelby Miller was better on Tuesday night. Just not good enough to win a game.
The right-hander, acquired in an offseason trade with Atlanta, has struggled mightily out of the gate this season. He hadn't even made it past the second inning in two straight outings.
He blanked his old team, the St. Louis Cardinals, for four innings before giving up a five-run fifth in Arizona's 8-2 loss.
"It was definitely a step forward from what he was dealing with," Arizona manager Chip Hale said. "The ball was coming out of his hand free and easy. His cutter was good. "
Miller (0-2) struck out six and walked four.
"I feel like we're headed in the right direction, sure," he said. "At the end of the day, you give up five runs in five innings. That's how I look at it. The first four innings were good."
Meanwhile, Carlos Martinez shut down an Arizona offense that had scored 12 runs on 18 hits Monday night and had 42 runs in its last five games.
Martinez allowed three hits in eight scoreless innings to improve to 4-0, winning all of his starts so far.
"We've just seen different styles (from him)," St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said. "This one was making off-speed pitches whenever he wanted to and then all of a sudden he waits until almost pitch 100 to show 98 (mph). He has that ability."
Through an interpreter, Martinez said he was saving his hard pitches for the late innings.
"I realized that they look for the fastball on the first pitch," he said, "so I threw a lot of breaking balls and they swung and missed."
Brandon Moss' three-run home run highlighted the five-run fifth. Stephen Piscotty added a two-run homer.
Jake Lamb and Yasmany Tomas homered for Arizona off reliever Tyler Lyons in the ninth.
Martinez struck out four, walked one and hit a batter. Besides Peralta's single, the other hits off him were Jean Segura's sixth-inning single and Tomas' seventh-inning double.
Chris Owings, an infielder shifted to the outfield with A.J. Pollock's injury, showed his inexperience in center in the Cardinals' big fourth inning. With runners at first and second and one out, Owings broke the wrong way briefly but still charged hard toward the ball, then made a diving attempt to catch Piscotty's fly ball. The ball bounced off of Owings' glove and rolled away for an RBI double.
"I probably could have actually got to it standing up," Owings said. "I felt like when I tried to slide for it, my head might have popped up a little bit and that's what made me move my glove just a tad. Just trying to get some more experience out there. Hopefully next time I get that ball. That ball tonight would have helped us out a lot."
The power surged on for both teams, although it Arizona nearly nine innings to get it going.
St. Louis and Arizona entered the game tied with the most home runs in the majors at 30 apiece.
Now the teams each have 32 home runs.
Nine St. Louis batters have homered this year, led by Moss and Jeremy Hazelbaker with five apiece.
Ten Diamondbacks have homered, led by Paul Goldschmidt's five.
Arizona has home runs in seven straight games. Eight Cardinals have at least three home runs.
And Matheny said the ones expected to hit home runs haven't really got it going yet.
Cardinals: OF Matt Holliday was out of the lineup as a precaution after leaving Monday night's game with a right leg cramp.
Diamondbacks: RHP Josh Collmenter (right shoulder tightness) threw one inning (11 pitches) in an extended spring training game on Monday, then pitched another inning in the bullpen. He is to pitch in another extended spring training game on Thursday before going to Class A Visalia on a rehab assignment.
Cardinals: RHP Adam Wainwright (0-3, 7.25 ERA) takes the mound for St. Louis still looking for his first win of the season.
Diamondbacks: LHP Patrick Corbin (1-2, 3.51) makes his fifth start of the season, in the third game of the four-game series with the Cardinals.