Wade Miley is headed to the All-Star game, but he hopes his last outing was just a road block during a stellar first full season in the majors.
The left-hander looks to bounce back from the worst start of his young career while trying to help the Diamondbacks avoid a season-high sixth consecutive loss Thursday night against the NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers at Chase Field.
Miley (9-4, 2.87 ERA) has been one of the majors' biggest surprises in 2012, going 8-4 with a 2.85 ERA in 13 starts since opening the season in the bullpen. That success earned him a spot on the NL All-Star roster.
"It's awesome," Miley told the Diamondbacks' official website. "It's just an honor to have your named called with all the guys who are going to be there."
He allowed four runs in 30 2-3 innings in his previous four starts before he was roughed up for eight runs and three of the seven homers he's allowed this season over 3 2-3 innings of a 10-2 loss at Milwaukee on Saturday.
"Wade is a human being,'' catcher Miguel Montero said. "You're going to have games like that."
The Diamondbacks hope that's all it is as Miley tries to rebound against a Dodgers club that managed only a Mark Ellis homer and seven singles over 6 2-3 innings against him in a 5-1 loss May 15.
While Miley could see Ellis, who came off the disabled list Wednesday after missing almost two months with a leg injury, he won't have to face Andre Ethier. The star outfielder was placed on the DL, retroactive to June 28, after missing six games with a strained left oblique.
Los Angeles (46-37) had dropped 11 of 12 before winning three of the last four to move back into first, one-half game ahead of San Francisco.
"We really feel that momentum shifting to where we're getting back to where we were,'' Dodgers catcher Matt Treanor said.
Arizona (39-42), meanwhile, is six games back. The Diamondbacks had won 10 of 11 at Chase Field before being swept there by San Diego.
The Dodgers took two of three at Arizona in May.
Aaron Harang threw seven solid innings and infielder Luis Cruz had two hits in Los Angeles' 4-1 win over the Reds on Wednesday. Cruz is 3 for 8 with two doubles and three RBIs in three games since being recalled from the minors to make his Dodger debut.
Nathan Eovaldi (0-5, 4.61) tries an eighth time to earn his first win since being recalled from the minors May 29. The right-hander, who has allowed 13 runs and 17 hits in 10 1-3 innings over his last two starts, gave up five runs in 5 1-3 of a 5-0 loss to the New York Mets on Saturday.
His Los Angeles teammates have not helped, totaling three runs over the 41 innings he's pitched. The Dodgers have been shut out in Eovaldi's last two outings.
"I go out there not thinking about that,'' Eovaldi said. "I just try to compete, try not to let anybody score and give my team the best chance to win.''
Eovaldi made his major league debut at Chase Field on Aug. 6, allowing two runs and striking out seven over five innings in a 5-3 win that remains his lone victory in the majors. He gave up three runs over three relief appearances in the series after that, and hasn't faced Arizona this season.
He'll now try to hand the Diamondbacks a sixth straight loss for the first time since Aug. 17-22. Jason Kubel homered for the second straight game and Aaron Hill extended his home hitting streak to 19 games in Arizona's 8-6 loss to the Padres on Wednesday.
Hill is batting .461 (35 for 76) with 17 RBIs during that streak while Kubel has five homers and 13 RBIs in his last seven home contests.