SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- With all the talk about how great the D-backs pitchers have fared lately, Tuesday's 21-13 loss to the A's was a reminder not to rush to conclusions -- positive or negative -- this early in spring.
It started with Shelby Miller, who allowed six runs in 2 2/3 innings after pitching gems his first two times out.
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"Physically, I feel really good," Miller said. "Stuff-wise, I feel good. I had two strikes on a lot of guys in the second and third innings and was just leaving balls over the middle of the plate. I hung a couple of curveballs that got hit. So it's just getting back to the basics and finishing those curveballs into the dirt, and the results should be better. It's about making quality pitches with two strikes."
D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said that not getting a couple of calls from the home-plate umpire contributed to the issues.
"I thought Shelby actually threw the ball pretty well," Lovullo said. "His outing could have gone either way with a couple of key pitches, if they had gone his way. Shelby didn't get a couple of pitches and then made some mistakes after that. We'll talk to Shelby about that; it's part of the game."
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• Archie Bradley, who is battling for a spot in the rotation, also allowed six runs over 1 1/3 innings. He limited the damage to two runs in the fifth, but could not get out of what became an 11-run sixth for the A's.
"I think Archie worked so hard in his first inning of work -- I think he threw over 30 pitches -- that he was taxed. He was tired, and then in his second inning of work, his secondary stuff was up and in the middle of the zone, and that's what started to get hit around," Lovullo said.
• The sixth proved to be a rough one for reliever Jared Miller, who impressed last year in the Arizona Fall League and then in his first three innings this spring.
Miller relieved Bradley with the bases loaded and was able to get just one out while walking four and allowing six runs, only one of which was earned.
"I think it's a tough environment for a young pitcher to walk into," Lovullo said. "They know the ball is flying in typical Arizona Spring Training style, and maybe it hinders his ability to command the ball, attack the zone, I'm not sure. That's uncharacteristic of what he'd been typically doing. Just an unfortunate outing for him. I know he will learn a valuable lesson from it."