Arizona hurler Wade Miley could certainly use a victory when he takes the hill against Houston on Thursday night at Minute Maid Park. Miley (3-6) has not earned a victory since May 10, recording three quality starts and a 4.13 ERA in five outings since.
Although his recent effort doesn't depict the same steadiness he showed while compiling a 3.44 ERA in 62 starts the previous two seasons, he has kept Arizona close. He surrendered just one run in seven innings against the Braves in his most recent start, a 4-3 D-backs' win in 13 innings on June 7.
The victory snapped a four-game losing streak for Arizona in games started by Miley, decided by a total of 11 runs. One of those was a 7-0 loss to the Dodgers at the beginning of the winless streak on May 16.
Miley said he feels good, and he has walked just one batter in his past three starts after issuing seven free passes in the first outings of his winless streak. He is not working on anything mechanically, just his consistency.
The record by his name does not bother Miley as much as the one next to Arizona, which ranks last in the National League West at a 29-39 mark.
"If I get the win by my name, great," Miley said. "If not, as long as we can get it. At the end of the day, we need to win games to get back in this thing."
History is on Miley's side on Thursday night as the left-hander is 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA in two career starts against Houston. However, recent trends may be tougher to contend against the Astros, who are 13-5 since May 24.
Houston turns to Scott Feldman, who could stand for some of his club's recent success to rub off on him. The right-hander is 1-4 with a 6.35 ERA in his past seven starts since giving up only one run in his first three trips to the hill in 2014.
"It's stuff I've been through before," Feldman said. "It's one of those frustrating times for me personally."
Astros: Altuve likely to return
Houston second baseman Jose Altuve should be good to go for Thursday's series finale against the D-backs after missing Wednesday with a tweaked left oblique.
Altuve suffered the injury while swinging at a slow pitch Tuesday night in Phoenix and was held out of the lineup for the first time this year. He entered play Wednesday leading the Majors in hits and the American League in stolen bases.
"This is not something we want to linger and become a problem where he could miss two or three weeks trying to recover from," Astros manager Bo Porter said.
Altuve pleaded with Porter to let him play on Wednesday, but the manager played it safe.
"Jose Altuve is arguably one of the best players in our game," Porter said. "He's not someone you can replace."
D-backs: Series-ly improving
Arizona had won four of its past five series before dropping two of its first three games against Houston this week. The D-backs will try to avoid their first series loss since suffering a three-game sweep against the Cardinals from May 20-22.
Despite the recent run, Arizona has lost ground in the NL West standings.
"We were just trying to win series after series," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "We've been doing that for a while now. Obviously we want to move to the top and in doing so you have to jump over people."
• Arizona has the worst home record in the Majors at 12-24, but only three NL clubs have more road victories than the club's 17.
• Chad Qualls pitched a scoreless frame of relief on Wednesday night, extending his scoreless innings streak to 17 2/3 over 19 appearances.
Joe Morgan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.