Dodgers’ Bobby Miller eager to turn corner vs. Diamondbacks

Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander Bobby Miller will continue to search for his top form when he takes the mound against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday to open his team’s six-game homestand.

Miller has struggled in his two starts since returning from a two-month stint on the injured list because of shoulder inflammation. He gave up five runs in 6 1/3 innings against the Colorado Rockies in his return on June 19, and he followed that outing by going just two innings and giving up three runs against the Chicago White Sox last Tuesday.

Miller, whose 100-mph fastball helped him earn a key role in the Dodgers’ rotation, had 11 strikeouts in his first start of the season against the St. Louis Cardinals, but he pitched a combined 5 2/3 innings in his next two starts and was placed on the 15-day IL on April 13.

At 1-1 with a 6.75 ERA through five starts this season, Miller has not given Los Angeles the rotational stability it was seeking from a hard-throwing 25-year-old.

“It just feels like I’m going through spring training again,” said Miller, who is 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA in two career starts against the Diamondbacks. “One thing I can say is every time I’m out there I’m giving it my all every single time. All it takes is just one good outing again just to get in the swing of things. I’m just not going to doubt myself. I know who I am. I know who I can be.”

The Dodgers dropped a road series against the San Francisco Giants over the weekend, losing 10-4 on Sunday. It is the first series Los Angeles has lost to a National League West foe since it dropped two of three games at home against Arizona from May 20-22.

The two defeats vs. the Diamondbacks marked the start of a season-long five-game losing streak for the Dodgers, but they have gone 19-11 since the skid ended. Mookie Betts has not played for Los Angeles since June 16 because of a left hand fracture.

Arizona will send right-hander Ryne Nelson (5-6, 5.69 ERA) to the mound on Tuesday. Nelson, who went 2-2 with a 5.20 ERA in five June starts, was roughed up for six runs on 10 hits over 3 2/3 innings at home against the Minnesota Twins last Wednesday.

“It was just some mistakes that they capitalized on and falling behind in counts,” Nelson said. “(The Twins) had some good at-bats and got some pitches to hit and they didn’t miss them.”

Nelson had earned the win in each of his previous two starts, giving up a combined three runs in 13 innings. In parts of three major league seasons, Nelson is 2-0 with a 1.59 ERA in three appearances (two starts) against the Dodgers. He went five scoreless innings and picked up the win at Los Angeles on May 22.

After a slow start to the season, Arizona finally surged back to .500 on June 21. The Diamondbacks then lost five of six games before earning victories over the Oakland Athletics on Saturday and Sunday.

Christian Walker had three hits and two RBIs against the A’s on Sunday. Walker has 22 career home runs against the Dodgers, including four in six games this season.

–Field Level Media