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ARI@TEX: Miley fans eight, allows just three hits

ARLINGTON -- The D-backs seemed to have finally gotten their offense on a roll during their recent homestand.

But whatever momentum they had has come to a grinding halt in the Lone Star State.

The D-backs squandered an outstanding pitching performance by Wade Miley in falling, 1-0, to the Rangers on Wednesday night.

After scoring 37 runs in the final five games of the homestand -- all wins -- Arizona has managed just one run in two games against the two-time defending American League champs.

When asked what his team's offense needed to do to snap out of its funk, D-backs manager Kirk Gibson was blunt.

"I don't really have an answer for you," he said.

For 7 2/3 innings, the Rangers didn't have much of an answer for Miley, who bolstered his case for National League Rookie of the Year with another gem.

"That guy Miley was doing a good job," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He was mixing well. He must have had a sneaky fastball, because I didn't see it get past 91 [mph] at the highest. He was mixing in a quick curve and a changeup."

The left-hander allowed just two hits through the first seven innings and only one Texas runner made it as far as second base.

"He's throwing the ball extremely well," said shortstop Willie Bloomquist. "His tempo is outstanding. It's fun to play behind him, because he gets it and goes. Guys don't have a whole lot of success off you when you're painting down in the zone and on the corners. There's not a lot you can do with it, I don't care who you are. He's attacking guys, working quick and changing speeds in the zone and doing a good job."

Not even a 29-minute rain delay to start the fifth could slow down Miley.

Then came the eighth inning.

Mike Napoli led off the eighth for the Rangers by drawing a seven-pitch walk. The final pitch of the at-bat, a slider, was called low by home-plate umpire Jeff Kellogg. Miley concurred after watching the video.

"It was close," Miley said. "He got it right. It was a good call. It could have gone either way. It was a borderline pitch, but I checked it out. He got it right."

Yorvit Torrealba sacrificed Napoli to second and Miley fanned pinch-hitter Nelson Cruz for the inning's second out.

That brought Craig Gentry to the plate, and he crushed a one-hopper that ticked off third baseman Ryan Roberts' glove into left field to score Napoli with the game's only run.

"I threw that pitch 15 times and got outs," Miley said of the fastball to Gentry. "But that one, he put a good swing on it."

"That ball was smoked," Bloomquist said. "He scorched it. That's why they call it the hot corner. You don't have any time to react. I didn't even react until it was past him. I can't even imagine what it's like over there. That's a play that not many people, if any, make. It's one where you're lucky if you wear it in the teeth and keep it in front of you, because there's nothing else you can do."

That his teammates thought it was nearly an impossible play was of little consolation to Roberts, a Fort Worth native, who was playing in front of friends and family.

"There's ifs, ands or buts," Roberts said. "There's wish you woulda, wish you coulda, but at the end of the day, nobody is carrying it worse than me, so that's how it goes. It's not a good feeling. You wish you could get in front of it, you wish you could block it. Could you have? I don't know. Was it hit hard? Yeah. The last person in the stadium that wants to do that is me. Especially here. And especially when Wade's pitching his butt off against that team and that lineup and keeping us in the game when we haven't been scoring runs.

"It's tough to swallow. There's really not a whole lot to say about it."

While Miley was outstanding, Rangers starter Matt Harrison was nearly as good. The left-hander allowed six hits and two walks over 7 1/3 innings.

The D-backs were 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position for the second straight night, and they stranded six runners. On Tuesday night, it was Colby Lewis who held Arizona to just one run.

"It was more of the same from yesterday," Gibson said. "Those guys both pitched similar. We only had a few opportunities. We had three opportunities to get a guy in and left all six guys on, had two double plays, so it was a tough game."

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