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ARI@SF: Miley crushes homer, strikes out seven Giants

The D-backs have played in more close games this season than anybody else, and there's no reason to expect anything different when they head to San Diego for a three-game set this weekend.

In the past two seasons, 11 of the 18 games between the D-backs and Padres at Petco Park have been decided by two runs or fewer. Arizona has played in 20 games decided by that sort of margin already this season, the most in the Majors.

"We've been in every game pretty much," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "That's a tough thing, but a good thing. We've learned a lot about ourselves, and we'll continue to make adjustments to get better. [The] Padres are playing well."

Left-hander Wade Miley (2-0, 2.37 ERA) gets the ball for Arizona, coming off a start in which he walked a career-high seven hitters against Colorado. Despite being uncharacteristically out of the strike zone, Miley was able to keep the Rockies off the scoreboard for 4 1/3 innings.

"It was one of those days," Miley said. "You're going to have those days. I didn't have it, plain and simple. A lot of scuffling out there. I had I don't know how many baserunners and how they didn't score, who knows? We were fortunate enough to win."

Padres right-hander Jason Marquis is coming off a similar outing in which he struggled with his control and his club picked up a victory. Marquis walked four and gave up six hits against the Giants, but managed to limit the damage to just two runs over 6 2/3 innings.

It was a significant improvement on Marquis' last start, when he surrendered seven earned runs on four hits and four walks over 4 2/3 innings against the Brewers. And it was exactly what the Padres needed at the time, as Marquis pitched deep into the game a day after San Diego's bullpen had to work eight innings.

"We needed it," Padres manager Bud Black said Sunday. "If you look at the use of all those guys [the relievers], it was big Jason gave us those outs. He started making pitches as the game progressed."

D-backs: Bullpen finally gets a break
• Following a slew of close games and a two-and-a-half-week stretch without an off-day, Arizona's slumping bullpen finally got some rest Thursday.

"Off-days are always good," Gibson said. "[We're] certainly not going to turn one down. We've had a pretty tough stretch here, but we've played well. We've given up some runs late in games. That's not how you design it, but that's just something we have to get better at."

Thursday marked Arizona's first day without a game since April 15.

Padres: Headley won't negotiate extension during season
• Third baseman Chase Headley told on Thursday that he doesn't want to discuss a long-term contract extension during the season. Headley said he "loves playing in San Diego" and appreciated that team ownership wants to keep him around, but think it's best for him and the team that they table those talks during the season.

Padres executive chairman Ron Fowler said Wednesday that he's given general manager Josh Byrnes permission to begin negotiations with Headley to make him the highest-paid player in Padres history. The two sides haven't had significant discussions about that kind of long-term deal since before the regular season.

"It's flattering they feel the way they feel about me. I love playing in San Diego, I love the fans," Headley said. "But I just don't think now is the time to get involved with this. That's it. If there's an opportunity to engage after the season, so be it. I didn't want to have to deal with the fallout I'm dealing with."

Worth noting
• The Padres won 11 of 18 meetings between the clubs last season, including a seven-game winning streak. In 2011, it was Arizona notching 11 victories.

• In nine at-bats against Miley, San Diego's Jesus Guzman has four hits, including a pair of doubles and a homer, and five RBIs. Comments