PHOENIX -- When asked before Monday's game what he was hoping for from emergency starter Wade Miley, D-backs manager Kirk Gibson smiled and said, "A shutout."
Miley delivered just that for six innings as the D-backs cruised to a 9-5 win over the Phillies on Monday night at Chase Field.
The score made the game closer than it was as the D-backs actually led 9-0 before a ninth-inning meltdown by reliever Joe Paterson, who faced five batters, allowing five hits including a pair of home runs, and five runs.
That couldn't put a damper on Miley's performance, though.
The left-hander had pitched well in two of his three relief appearances and found out following Sunday's game that he would start Monday in place of Daniel Hudson, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list with an impingement in his right shoulder.
Miley came out throwing strikes. In the first two innings he threw just 19 pitches, 15 for strikes.
"He was lights out tonight," Arizona third baseman Cody Ransom said. "He was throwing a lot of strikes, working really fast, getting ahead of guys. It's a good formula to stick to. It keeps the defense on their toes and it's hard as a hitter when a guy keeps coming at you and coming at you."
Miley allowed just two hits and a walk while striking out a career-high seven. It was his first start of the year after three relief appearances and Gibson said the team would discuss whether he would head back to the bullpen or stay in the rotation while Hudson recovers.
"I mean, start or relieve it doesn't matter," Miley said. "Just whenever you get to pitch, go out and pitch. I was nervous a little bit, but after the first pitch it kind of goes away and it's back to baseball, same game you've always played."
Of course, getting a bunch of runs from your offense early in the game also helps ease the nerves.
The D-backs jumped on Phillies right-hander Kyle Kendrick, who was starting in place of the injured Cliff Lee.
Gerardo Parra led off the bottom of the first with a double and Aaron Hill followed with a drive down the left-field line that bounced off the wall. Initially ruled a homer, it was overturned using replay and ruled an RBI double.
Despite losing a home run, the D-backs went on to score four runs in the frame.
Kendrick was in trouble again in the second after he loaded the bases and just when it seemed he might get out of it, Ransom laced a two-out double to left to put Arizona up 6-0.
"Balls were down the middle, that's what happens," Kendrick said. "I haven't looked back at the film yet. I think I made some good pitches that they hit, but most of them were hanging balls right down the middle, the one to Ransom with two outs was just bad cutter. That was really it. They hit me. They swung the bats well, but I wasn't very good."
Ransom was simply trying to atone for a poor at-bat in the first when he grounded out.
"My first at-bat off him was pretty bad," Ransom said. "He left a cutter, slider, whatever you want to call it up out over the plate. I was just trying to stay up the middle a little more and change my approach from my first at-bat. I lucked out and it hit the outfield and scored a couple of runs."
The win was the second in a row for the D-backs, who had lost five straight prior to that. During the losing streak they scored a total of 10 runs. In the two wins they totaled 15.
"We put good swings on the ball all day and we were just waiting for good pitches to hit and we got them today," said left fielder Jason Kubel, who had three hits on the day, including a home run. Hopefully, tomorrow we can do the same."
Another good sign for the offense was the performance of Justin Upton.
The right fielder has been hampered by a sore thumb all season and it has hurt him at the plate. Monday, he snapped out of his offensive funk by going 2-for-3 with a home run, his first homer and RBI of the year.
"He's been coming," Gibson said. "You could tell his at-bats were starting to get better. He was starting to take pitches and his swings were more aggressive. I think he's feeling better with his thumb. Today he was seeing the ball much better, he's certainly important for us."
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.