D-backs lefty Wade Miley is coming off his second-shortest outing of the season, and he's about to face a Cubs lineup that roughed him up for seven runs in seven innings on May 31.
He'll get a chance to redeem himself for both outings on Thursday night at Chase Field, as the D-backs look to split their four-game series with the Cubs.
Miley was out of Saturday's start against the Giants after only four innings. He gave up two runs on four hits while walking two and striking out four. He threw only 80 pitches, and he cruised through most of his first three innings, retiring eight straight batters before a long fourth frame.
"I felt pretty good out there, but I just didn't command it when I wanted to," Miley said after taking the loss. "I fell behind and didn't execute when I needed to."
Miley has struggled at home this season, going 3-2 with a 4.91 ERA in seven starts. But those struggles are nothing compared to Cubs right-hander Carlos Villanueva's woes at Coors Field, where he made his most recent start. Villanueva gave up a season-high-tying seven runs on nine hits and four walks Saturday against the Rockies, pushing his ERA in Colorado up to 11.57 in 13 appearances.
"I guess I'm glad we only play them twice this year," Villanueva said Saturday.
While the results in that outing certainly weren't what Villanueva had hoped for, there was something to build off. He noted afterward that his performance "was basically a photocopy of last time," a quality start against the Cardinals in which he allowed two runs over six innings but still suffered the loss.
"It seemed to work somewhat the first couple innings, but it's a team that's given me trouble throughout my career for some reason," Villanueva said.
Fortunately for Villanueva, he's out of the mountains and into the desert. The 29-year-old righty hasn't seen much of the D-backs in his career -- only 16 innings, including 1 1/3 in relief earlier this season -- but he owns a 1.69 ERA against Arizona and a 0.82 mark in 11 innings at Chase Field.
Cubs: Soriano would waive no-trade clause for Yankees
The Cubs have asked Alfonso Soriano to take a few days to weigh his potential trade scenarios, and the veteran outfielder said Wednesday he gave president of baseball operations Theo Epstein and manager Dale Sveum a list of teams for which he would be willing to waive his no-trade clause. That list includes the Yankees, with whom Soriano broke into the Majors in 1999.
Soriano added that he's "not 100 percent yet" about a trade, even if "it's the closest it's ever been" for him, but he'd be willing to listen if a contender expressed interest in him.
"He'll let us know where he'll go, if anywhere," Epstein said Wednesday. "At that point, it's up to us if we want to move forward and finalize a deal."
• Outfielder David DeJesus, out since June 24 with a sprained right shoulder, came off the disabled list Wednesday and went 2-for-6 with a double and two runs in his return.
D-backs: Montero due for more rest
Catcher Miguel Montero has sat out Arizona's last two games, having tweaked his back while swinging in the cages during Tuesday's game. The 30-year-old underwent an MRI on Wednesday and the D-backs are listing him as day to day.
Montero's 778 innings behind the plate this year are the most in baseball, so it probably shouldn't come as a surprise that, even when Montero returns to the lineup, manager Kirk Gibson is going to give him more time off.
"We've ridden him pretty hard," Gibson said. "We're probably not going to do it that way right now. It's probably not going to be as much. We'll try to get Wil [Nieves] more time."
• Aaron Hill was limited to a pinch-hit appearance in Wednesday night's game, the second straight day he was out of the starting lineup. With a seventh-inning strikeout Wednesday, the second baseman fell to 4-for-31 over his past nine games.
• Martin Prado has gone 9-for-23 (.391) in his first six games out of the All-Star break. Since June 25, he's hitting .333 (31-for-93) with three doubles, a triple, four homers and 16 RBIs.
• The Cubs have a winning record against teams outside the National League Central this year, at 30-26, but their 15-28 mark against their division is the second-worst by any team in the Majors against its own division.