Shelby Miller hopeful for next start

Updated: August 8, 2013, 3:14 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

ST. LOUIS -- Shelby Miller was struck by Carl Crawford's liner on his right elbow on his second pitch of the game, cutting short the St. Louis Cardinals rookie right-hander's start on Wednesday night against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The 22-year-old Miller held his arm in pain as he walked off the field accompanied by a team trainer. Crawford's liner bounded into shallow left field for a double and Miller bent over in pain while getting the elbow massaged.

The Dodgers went on to win 13-4.

The team described the injury as a right elbow contusion and said X-rays were negative.

Miller is optimistic he'll be ready to pitch in five days.

"It feels good," said Miller, who began the day with an 11-7 record and a 2.89 ERA. "I mean, it doesn't feel good but it's better than it could be. I'm planning on making my next start."

Miller pivoted after the pitch to Crawford with his back to the plate, but couldn't get his arm out of the way of the liner that bounded into shallow left field.

"It's not what you want to see on the first batter of the game for any pitcher," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "He's sore, but it's good we didn't have any fracture or break."

Fellow rookie Michael Blazek replaced Miller and worked out of a bases-loaded jam to finish a scoreless first.

But the Dodgers sent 10 batters to the plate against Jake Westbrook (7-7) in a six-run second inning. Westbrook was scheduled to start the series finale on Thursday night and entered on three days' rest. Blazek hasn't pitched more than one inning.

"Three days rest is sufficient for most people, you want to come in there and do what you can," Westbrook said. "The bottom line is I didn't do that."

Carlos Martinez, among the Cardinals' top pitching prospects, was recalled from Triple-A Memphis to start Thursday against the Dodgers and Hyun-Jin Ryu. The 21-year-old right-hander is 4-2 with a 1.76 ERA in the minors and made his major league debut earlier this year out of the bullpen, with a 5.56 ERA in 11 1-3 innings over 10 appearances.

The 35-year-old Westbrook made his first regular-season relief appearance since April 19, 2004, when he worked seven perfect innings for Cleveland against Detroit. In 4 2/3 innings he gave up nine runs on 13 hits.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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