Wade Miley gets first major league victory as Diamondbacks beat Nationals

WASHINGTON -- Ah, the memories the Arizona Diamondbacks will take home from their trip to the nation's capital.

"It's amazing what an earthquake will do," said bench coach Alan Trammell, a smile on his face as he strode down the hallway outside the clubhouse. "It shook us up."

So did three days without batting practice. And three days of solid starting pitching.

The Diamondbacks went from a six-game skid to a three-game winning streak, capping their road swing Thursday night with an overdue burst of offense in an 8-1 victory over the Washington Nationals.

"We could have folded," Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said. "But I felt we hung together very well."

Wade Miley (1-1) threw six scoreless innings to get his first major league victory, allowing five hits with four strikeouts and four walks. The 24-year-old left-hander repeatedly worked out of trouble -- allowing two men to reach base in four of the first five innings -- but he mixed his low 90s fastball with a generous dose of offspeed pitches to keep the Nationals in check.

His reward: a cold shower from teammates.

"They got me real good," he said. "Very cold. But I'd do it again. Over and over."

The Diamondbacks relied mostly on their pitching to salvage the 4-6 trip and keep their tenuous lead in the NL West. Their eight-spot Thursday -- with all the runs coming in the final four innings -- was exactly half of what they had scored in the previous nine games combined.

As Trammell noted, the three-game uptick came after a rare earthquake shook the East Coast, but it also coincided with Gibson's decision to skip batting practice and arrive later at the ballpark.

"We seemed to be recharged," Gibson said. "The no BP has worked good for us. It got the guys off their feet, off the field. Their legs have come back, and we feel good going home."

Baseball is a game of superstition, but it can only go so far. Gibson said batting practice will resume when the team returns home Friday to face the San Diego Padres.

"We'll be on the field," he said. "Three days is long enough."

The Nationals were perfect fodder for a team slumping at the plate -- because they haven't been scoring much, either. Washington had only three runs over the final three games of the four-game series and were 1-for-29 with runners in scoring position. Their lone tally in the finale came on Michael Morse's RBI single off Bryan Shaw in the seventh.

"We just seem like we're really flat," Nationals manager Davey Johnson said. "We didn't look like we wanted it the last two or three days."

John Lannan (8-10) allowed two runs to become Washington's latest hard-luck loser. He had one major mistake -- a fastball that Chris Young deposited about a half-dozen rows into the bleachers in left field with one out in the sixth to break a scoreless tie. Lannan allowed seven hits over six innings in dropping his third straight decision.

The Diamondbacks added three runs in the eighth off All-Star reliever Tyler Clippard. Paul Goldschmidt, back in the lineup after sitting for two days, had a two-run homer.

Arizona got three runs in the ninth, all of them unearned after an error by second baseman Danny Espinosa. The paltry crowd gave the Nationals a mock cheer when Henry Rodriguez struck out Lyle Overbay to end the inning.

Miley, a 2008 Diamondbacks draft pick, gave up five runs in four innings in an 8-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves in his major league debut Saturday. He was called up to replace Jason Marquis, who is on the disabled list with a broken leg.

Game notes
Montero lost track of the innings when the Diamondbacks retired the Nationals at the end of the eighth. "I though the game was over, to be honest," he said. "It was kind of funny. I told the umpire 'Good job tonight' and I was walking to the mound and I see everybody running in. I'm like, 'What's going on here, guys? The game is over, man.'" ... Nationals right-hander Ryan Mattheus was removed from the game after pitching to two batters in the eighth. He said it was a precautionary move because he didn't have his usual velocity. ... As a longtime member of the Baltimore Orioles family, Johnson was stunned by the news that former Cy Young winner Mike Flanagan had committed suicide. "I was pretty shaken. ... I wished I had a chance to talk to him and cheer him up like he's done me in the past," Johnson said. A moment of silence was held in memory of Flanagan before the game. ... Nationals catcher Ivan Rodriguez (right oblique strain) will catch five innings for Class A Potomac at Frederick on Saturday, his first rehab game since going on the DL on July 7. ... Arizona's Josh Collmentor (7-8) will start Friday against the Padres' Wade LeBlanc (2-2). ... Chien-Ming Wang (2-2) will open a series for the Nationals against Dontrelle Willis (0-3) at Cincinnati.