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Miller delivers strong effort vs. Giants

MLB.com @SteveGilbertMLB

SAN FRANCISCO -- Wednesday's fifth inning may have gotten away from Shelby Miller a little bit and therefore the game and the series against the Giants as well, but the D-backs are still plenty pleased with what they've seen from their right-hander through two starts this year.

Miller allowed three runs in the fifth as the Giants used it to springboard to a 6-2 win at AT&T Park.

Full Game Coverage

SAN FRANCISCO -- Wednesday's fifth inning may have gotten away from Shelby Miller a little bit and therefore the game and the series against the Giants as well, but the D-backs are still plenty pleased with what they've seen from their right-hander through two starts this year.

Miller allowed three runs in the fifth as the Giants used it to springboard to a 6-2 win at AT&T Park.

Full Game Coverage

"I think it's been very consistent," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said of Miller's stuff. "He was really in command of this game today. I know that the one inning slipped away from him a little bit, but after a mound visit and a couple of the things that took place to slow the game down for him, he really recognized how to get back on the attack, and that was really crucial for us."

Miller pitched around a leadoff double in the first inning and in the second he overcame an error, a balk and a wild pitch to strike out Matt Cain to end that inning with runners at second and third.

Cain, though, would get his revenge in the fifth when he doubled with one out in the frame, touching off the three-run rally.

"It was a fastball," Miller said of the pitch to Cain. "[Catcher Jeff Mathis] wanted a cutter and I probably should have thrown that. I'm just thinking, the pitcher's up there, you're just trying to make quality pitches and they usually get out. That one was just kind of middle and he was definitely swinging right there. I think he was just hunting heater and he got it. It was definitely a buzzkill right there."

Denard Span, Hunter Pence and Conor Gillaspie each had RBI singles in the fifth.

"At the end of the day, I just didn't make quality pitches that inning at all," Miller said. "It got away from me that inning. I wasn't very good. This loss is definitely on me because I was in a groove and felt really good and gave it away right there."

Maybe, but it's a far cry from where Miller was last season when he struggled so much he had to be sent down to the Minor Leagues to work it out.

Whereas last year his mechanics were off and his stuff inconsistent, this year he has been sharp from his first outing of Spring Training.

"I thought he threw the ball really well," Lovullo said. "I think there were some early quick outs, he was in command of all of his pitches and he was doing a good job. Unfortunately it just unraveled for him in that one inning, and I think that was the difference in the game."

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.

 

Arizona Diamondbacks, Shelby Miller