Hill's cycle backs Miley as D-backs top Mariners
By Tyler Emerick / MLB.com | 6/19/2012 1:30 AM ET
Hill belts a homer to complete the cycle
PHOENIX -- Hot and cold doesn't begin to describe the D-backs' offense of late.
During its six-game road trip last week, the club scored 16 runs in its two wins while managing just one in its four losses.
Returning to Chase Field on Monday, the D-backs continued their feast-or-famine stretch by erupting offensively with the help of a career night from second baseman Aaron Hill.
Batting 4-for-4, Hill delivered the fifth cycle in franchise history as the D-backs road Wade Miley's gem to their sixth straight home win, 7-1, over the Mariners
Hill singled in the first, tripled in the third and doubled in the fifth before a one-out solo homer in the seventh completed the feat.
"We got beat pretty bad on the road trip, so it was nice to give the pitcher what he deserved finally," Hill said. "It was good to get the bats rolling. We know we have it."
Miley, who took a hard-luck loss in his last outing when he surrendered just one run in 7 2/3 innings against the Rangers, received plenty of run support this time around.
The 25-year-old lasted seven innings, allowing one run on nine hits while striking out eight.
"It's huge," Miley said of what his offense did for him. "I came out of the bullpen and had to battle through the first few innings, but the offense took over. Hilly had a great night. We kept putting runs on the board. After that I was just trying to make pitches, throw strikes early and go after guys."
Over his last 21 2/3 innings, Miley has given up just three runs.
"He's tough as nails," said D-backs closer J.J. Putz, who worked the ninth. "He works his tail off and he's a bulldog out there. He's got great stuff. I don't think anybody is surprised now. He is no nonsense, just gets on the rubber and goes."
After Monday's quality outing, Miley's ERA dropped to 2.30, good enough for fifth in the National League.
"It's been all year," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "It's been command and belief in throwing the ball for strikes. It seems he didn't have as good of command tonight, but he doesn't detour."
Miley tried to contribute on the bases as well. He doubled in the second inning, but was thrown out trying to stretch it into a triple. The play elicited plenty of laughs in the D-backs dugout.
"You can't help but smile. The guy busted his tail," Gibson said. "Every other pitcher on the staff would've pulled up, but it was Wade was being Wade."
The D-backs entered Monday riding a 21-inning scoreless drought after being shut out on Saturday and Sunday in Anaheim. The offense, however, put an end to the streak in the first inning.
Willie Bloomquist scored the first run with no outs on a Justin Upton single by plowing over Mariners catcher Jesus Montero and jarring the ball loose.
Jason Kubel and Paul Goldschmidt contributed sacrifice flies later in the frame off Mariners starter Hector Noesi to put the D-backs ahead, 3-0.
"We've been pressing for runs, so that was a good way to start," Gibson said. "When you get three runs like that, it relaxes you."
Upton, who had two RBIs in June coming into Monday's game, collected his second RBI of the night in the third inning with a sacrifice fly after Hill's leadoff triple.
"He's a good player. I've seen him play for a long time," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said of Hill. "He's a powerful player. He gives himself a chance. It looks like he's seeing the ball well. When you make mistakes the way we did tonight, he's going to make you pay for it."
The Mariners got on the board in the sixth with an RBI double from Casper Wells, but Kubel threw Wells out at home on a single to left field to end the inning and keep the D-backs ahead, 4-1.
Miguel Montero and Josh Bell added RBIs in the sixth to put the game out of reach and knock Noesi out of the game. The right-hander tossed six innings and gave up six runs (five earned) on nine hits.