PHOENIX (AP) — Coming off a long road trip backloaded with long games, the Arizona Diamondbacks needed a few quality starts from their pitchers to give the bullpen a break.
Tyler Skaggs got the Diamondbacks off to a good start in the series opener against Colorado and Wade Miley followed it up with another strong performance — with his arm and his bat.
Miley pitched eight effective innings and had a three-run double in the second inning, helping Arizona jump on Colorado early in an 11-1 rout of the Rockies on Saturday night.
"He was really efficient with his pitches, his pitch count," Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said. "It was just what we needed to give the bullpen a rest."
The Diamondbacks returned to the desert on Friday after a 10-game road trip that ended with a long series against the Mets that included rain delays and two games that each lasted at least 15 innings.
Arizona beat Colorado 5-0 in the opener behind Skaggs' eight innings and jumped on Drew Pomeranz (0-2) for five runs in the first three innings in the second game.
Miley got it started with his third career double in the second inning and Paul Goldschmidt, named to the NL All-Star team earlier in the day, hit his 21st homer in the third.
The Diamondbacks poured it on after that, adding a three-run homer by Miguel Montero and a two-run shot by Martin Prado. Cody Ross tied a team record and set a career high with five of Arizona's 12 hits and scored three runs.
That gave Miley (5-7) the leeway to work around the edges of the plate, giving the Rockies few good pitches while sending the NL West-leading Diamondbacks to their fourth straight win.
"The bullpen got used a lot in New York with all those (extra-inning) games and I was just trying to extend it, just go as long as you can to give them a break," Miley said. "It was good."
The Rockies had four baserunners in the series opener and were only marginally better against Miley.
All-Star Carlos Gonzalez hit his NL-leading 24th homer and had four hits after missing Friday's game with a sore back, but the rest of the Rockies went 2 for 26, including 0 for 7 with runners in scoring position.
"I don't know what the numbers are but it seemed like he went strike one with just about every batter," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "It is a lot easier to pitch that way. When you are 0-1 there are a lot more options that way and that is what he did."
Miley pitched 5 2-3 scoreless innings his last outing, but didn't get the decision in a game that went 13 innings.
Staked with a big early lead against the Rockies, the left-hander was effective with runners on, helped by a pair of double plays in the first four innings.
Miley stretched his scoreless streak to a career-high 13 2-3 innings — 16 overall by Arizona pitchers — before Gonzalez led off the seventh with a long homer to center.
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