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ARI@SF: Miley throws seven scoreless innings

Saturday at Chase Field marks a meeting between two former All-Stars who were trending in distinctively different directions heading into the All-Star break.

D-backs left-hander Wade Miley's 4.18 ERA is far off the 3.33 mark he set during his 2012 All-Star season. But in his last three games before the Midsummer Classic, Miley registered a 1.25 ERA and a 2-0 record.

Miley has held opponents to a .171 batting average over that span as has struck out 22 over 21 2/3 innings. Yet if you ask him, there's not much change to see.

"[I've been] just trying to go out and stick to the plan, just get a chance to win," Miley said. "Haven't really put a whole lot of thought into it. Just preparing the same way I prepare, just having a little success, trying to keep it rolling."

Cubs left-hander Travis Wood hasn't been as fortunate in the success department. In his last start before the break, the Braves rocked Wood for seven earned runs across six innings.

Wood's ERA has inflated from 3.11 to 4.96 since his breakout 2013 campaign and his struggles have been even greater on the road, where he owns a 4-5 record and a 6.05 ERA.

While the Cubs are nowhere near contention, manager Rick Renteria still knows there's plenty to be accomplished in the second half, including a turnaround from Wood.

"We just have to get ready for the remainder of the season and they know everybody has to go out there and make their push," Renteria said. "At this point, I'm hopeful that they're going to come out and play the game."

Cubs: Rizzo leaving forgettable 2013 in dust
First baseman Anthony Rizzo compiled two more homers Friday evening, bringing his 2014 tally up to 22. That's just one shy of his entire 2013 total in a season in which he hit just .233.

Rizzo took a step back last year after slugging .463 in his first season with the Cubs following a change of scenery from San Diego. Now, in the second year of a seven-year, $41 million contract, Rizzo has fulfilled the Cubs invest by hitting .278.

Rizzo earned his first All Star appearance this season. Rizzo struck out in his only plate appearance on a foul tip, but that didn't stop him from soaking in the experience before the Midsummer Classic.

D-backs: Peralta silver lining in tough season
Injuries and ineffectiveness have dragged the D-backs' season down, but they've also provided outfielder David Peralta with an opportunity to make a name for himself.

Peralta, who is batting .326, is a converted pitcher and was seventh in the D-backs' outfield pecking order to begin the season.

Peralta finished Friday's game 2-for-4 with a double. Even with the return of Mark Trumbo, Peralta should receive regular playing time against right-handers. A.J. Pollock's mid-August return from a fractured right hand could complicate things, but Peralta's emergence leaves manager Kirk Gibson with a good problem to have.

Worth Noting
Renteria announced that right-hander Kyle Hendricks will start Tuesday's series opener against the Padres. Renteria has yet to declare who will be the Cubs' fifth starter to begin the second half.

• While he's eligible to be activated immediately, D-backs shortstop Chris Owings isn't expected to return from his bruised left shoulder for at least a few more weeks. Comments