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CHC@ARI: Miley earns ninth win with sterling outing

After being a part of the All-Star Game festivities in Kansas City, Wade Miley is looking forward to focusing on just pitching against the Reds at Great American Ball Park on Monday.

Manager Kirk Gibson considered starting Miley during the D-backs' weekend series with the Cubs but decided that some extra time off after the break could help the left-hander.

"There was a lot going, but it was a blast," Miley said of the All-Star events. "You do kind of get worn out mentally. I feel good now, though, I'm fine. I just want to get back to normal baseball, rather than that. It was kind of crazy. I haven't seen anything like that before."

Miley's 3.04 ERA is the highest it has been since April 19, when he was still coming out of the bullpen. He gave up 12 runs in 10 1/3 innings in two starts before the All-Star break. During the Midsummer Classic, he gave up a hit in 1/3 of an inning.

Miley's pitching counterpart on Monday finished the first half of the season on a decidedly better note.

Right-hander Bronson Arroyo, who is coming off a shutout of the Padres on June 6, will make his 219th start for the Reds, winners of six straight and in first place by a game over the Pirates. Arroyo struck out eight and walked one on 110 pitches against San Diego.

"You only get one of those games like that every couple of years, where everything is just going your way," Arroyo said after the start. "I wasn't having to work too hard. It gave me a chance to settle back in. After the second inning, I didn't think I'd go nine. I was feeling it a little bit from having to go max effort. But they gave me some breathing room and a chance to go deep in the game."

Arroyo hasn't given up a homer in any of his last three starts after giving up two homers in three consecutive starts in late June. His ERA in his last three outings is 1.99.

D-backs: Drew's ankle holding up
• Shortstop Stephen Drew missed the final two months of the 2011 season with a fractured ankle and didn't return to the Arizona lineup until June 27. His surgically-repaired ankle seems to be holding up fine.

Drew went 3-for-11 with a pair of doubles in the three-game series against the Cubs that concluded Sunday. He batted in the cleanup spot in Sunday's finale.

• Outfielder Jason Kubel missed the last two games of the series against the Cubs with tightness in his right hamstring. He said it felt better on Sunday and he might be able to return to the lineup for Monday's series opener against the Reds.

Reds: Cueto scratched Sunday, to pitch Tuesday
• After developing a blister on his right index finger during his bullpen session on Saturday, right-hander Johnny Cueto was scratched from his scheduled start on Sunday night. He is expected to pitch in the second game of the Reds' series with the D-backs on Tuesday.

Manager Dusty Baker decided to swap Homer Bailey for Cueto instead of moving Arroyo up a day to mix up the rotation.

"We wanted to separate Arroyo and [Mike] Leake because they're similar," Baker said. "Especially when you're in a stretch of 13 games in a row, you don't have a chance to flip flop anybody or skip because we don't have any off-days. We have one off-day, then we get 17 in a row. It's a very important stretch here."

• Entering Sunday, Joey Votto was hitless in consecutive games for only the third time this season. He then went 2-for-3 with an RBI double in a win over the Cardinals. He hasn't had three straight hitless games since Sept. 17-19 of last season.

• The Reds' bullpen continues to be a strength, supplementing the team's consistently solid starting pitching. The relievers lead the Major Leagues with 18 relief victories. They have posted a 2.70 ERA, the best bullpen ERA in the National League.

"We understand we're going to be needed down the stretch," reliever Sam LeCure said. "We've really got to be on top of our game. We really look forward to taking the ball, though. Hopefully, our starters keep going six, seven, eight innings, but we need to ready too to come in and execute in those situations."

Worth noting
• The Reds haven't played the D-backs this season. The teams will play a series at Chase Field from Aug. 27-29. In 2011, Arizona took four of six games from the Reds.

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