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Miley talks about leadership, pitching idols

The Giants haven't seen Wade Miley in action since the first week of the season, and quite a bit has transpired for both parties since then.

San Franciso will face Miley again Saturday in its march towards the National League West title, while Arizona's promising young starter continues to build his case for the NL's Rookie of the Year.

After taking Friday's series opener with a 6-2 win, the Giants enter Saturday a season-best 20 games over .500 and with a 7 1/2-game lead in the standings over the second-place Dodgers. Barry Zito will oppose Miley for the Giants, and San Francisco has come out on top in each of Zito's last seven outings.

"We like where we're at," Zito said after his last start, a 4-0 win against the Dodgers in which he tossed 6 1/3 innings. "It's certainly better than being even. But we can't rest on our laurels. We have to fight every day."

Miley, whose lone appearance against the Giants came in a four-inning stint out of the bullpen on April 8, enters Saturday's matchup with a 15-9 record, currently tied for the second-most wins by a rookie pitcher in the NL since 1986.

In his last outing, Miley battled through 5 1/3 innings as he gave up five runs on eight hits, with the D-backs giving him enough support in the 8-5 win. And though he was able to pick up his 15th victory, Miley desires more from his command and rhythm on the mound.

"I got frustrated early and really stayed frustrated," Miley said. "I never really calmed down and got in a rhythm. That's what happens. Sometimes you get mad and it helps out, but I was just flying open, trying to throw the ball as hard as I could, leaving it up."

D-backs: Bloomquist uncertain about return
Willie Bloomquist returned to the team last weekend and has continued to recover from a back strain, but his return remains uncertain.

"I'm still a little ways from being able to play," Bloomquist said earlier in the week. "I'm doing whatever I can in terms of treatment to get it better. It just takes time. How much time? I don't know."

The shortstop hasn't started a game since Aug. 8 and has only appeared in one game since -- an RBI pinch-hit appearance against the Giants on Sept. 3.

Giants: Nady nearing return from injured hamstring
Xavier Nady described his strained left hamstring as being 90 percent healed, though Giants manager Bruce Bochy elected to side with caution in not starting the right-handed Nady against the left-handed Tyler Skaggs. The Giants will draw two more lefties in the series, starting with Miley on Saturday.

Bochy said before Friday's game that Nady could be available to pinch-hit if necessary, but he did not end up appearing in the game.

"Obviously, you want to play this game as healthy as possible," Nady said. "But I understand that it's not going to be 100 percent out of the gate. I just have to be smart in certain situations and Boch knows it."

Worth noting
• Arizona's Miguel Montero leads the Majors with 82 RBIs while playing catcher, with the Giants' Buster Posey in second with 75 RBIs.

• Zito is 5-8 with a 5.26 ERA in 19 career games against the D-backs and is 2-0 with a 4.50 ERA against them in three starts this season. Comments