PHOENIX – While waiting for his turn to hit, Paul Goldschmidt often can be found at the top rail of the dugout next to Arizona manager Kirk Gibson. The big first baseman watches the opposing pitcher, trying to pick up pitches, tendencies.
That bit of extra knowledge tends to pay off nicely for the young slugger, particularly the past few weeks.
Goldschmidt homered and drove in three runs while extending his hitting streak to 14 games, Wade Miley pitched eight sharp innings and the Diamondbacks rolled to a 6-1 win over the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday night.
“He’s very studious, and he tries to give himself a good opportunity, a good chance to succeed,” Gibson said of Goldschmidt. “His swing is good.”
The Diamondbacks beat up the Rockies in the middle game of the series, getting a season-high 17 hits Tuesday night. They kept swinging and connecting in the finale, scoring five runs in the first three innings off Josh Outman (0-2) on their way to 11 more hits.
The 24-year-old Goldschmidt did most of the damage, hitting a pair of run-scoring doubles off Outman and a leadoff homer to right in the seventh inning off Adam Ottavino for his seventh of the season. He finished 3 for 4 and is hitting .431 during his streak.
That was more than enough for Miley (7-2), who had the Rockies guessing all night in the longest outing of his big league career.
With the two convincing wins, the defending NL West champion Diamondbacks now have won four of five. They’re still nine games back in the division race, but they made a big run about this time last season and could be on the verge of breaking out of their early funk.
“Obviously it’s nice to get a little momentum, but we’ve got to continue to play well,” Goldschmidt said. “We’ve had a few stretches where we’ve played well like we have these past two days, but as a whole we haven’t been able to put it together for an extended amount of time. If we can do that now, it’s a great couple of wins.”
The Rockies opened the series with a shutout victory behind a second consecutive strong start by one of their young pitchers. They left the desert with a whimper, outscored 16-1 the final two games while striking out 23 times.
“One run in the last two days with a number of strikeouts, not forcing the defense having to field the ball, was not a good night for us offensively and defensively,” Rockies manager Jim Tracy said.
Miley had a lot to do with their struggles at the plate Wednesday night.
The left-hander entered Wednesday’s game leading all rookies with six wins, an ERA of 2.72 and a .238 batting average against. He also led all NL pitchers with a .429 average and had an eight-game hitting streak – the longest by a pitcher in Diamondbacks history.
Miley certainly was good on the mound, retiring his first 13 hitters before Jason Giambi’s double in the fifth inning. Wilin Rosario followed with an RBI single, but that only cut Arizona’s lead to 5-1.
Miley was lifted for a pinch hitter in the eighth inning after allowing a run and three hits with five strikeouts and no walks.
“He was outstanding,” Gibson said. “He was really efficient. Same we’ve seen, he just went a little deeper today.”
Miley didn’t get a hit but didn’t need one the way the Diamondbacks knocked Outman around.
The left-hander opened the season in the bullpen, making his first eight appearances in relief before moving into the rotation after 49-year-old Jamie Moyer was released. He was effective in his first start, holding the Dodgers to two hits in 3 1/3 scoreless innings with five strikeouts before reaching his limited pitch count.
Outman’s second start also was short. It just didn’t go quite as well.
Goldschmidt extended his career-high hitting streak with an RBI double in the first inning.
A.J. Pollock, called up before the game to replace new father Lyle Overbay, fouled off three pitches from Outman before lining a run-scoring single to right in the second.
Goldschmidt had his second RBI double in the third inning, and Aaron Hill and John McDonald each knocked in runs with two more doubles to make it 5-0.
And with that, Outman was out after three innings, allowing seven hits.
“I didn’t execute the game plan,” Outman said. “When I got ahead I didn’t keep the ball down. You name it, I pretty much did it wrong tonight.”