LOS ANGELES ― There was a time in the recent past when Bobby Miller was a toolkit, a 24-year-old with a blazing fastball, a bending slider, and two other pitches he could throw for strikes.
More and more, Miller is looking like a bona fide major league starter.
Tuesday night against the Milwaukee Brewers, Miller allowed a leadoff single to Christian Yelich. He walked William Contreras. Then he retired the next 18 batters in order as the Dodgers cruised to a 6-2 victory before an announced crowd of 46,050 at Dodger Stadium.
A five-run sixth inning allowed the Dodgers to pull away for their ninth consecutive victory, and thwart the Brewers’ own four-game winning streak in the opener of a three-game series between the leaders of the NL West and NL Central divisions. The Dodgers are 13-1 in August.
Miller is still flashing the tools that got him here. His four-seam fastball touched 101 mph, and his sinker yielded only weak contact against the Brewers. Of the 134 triple-digit pitches the Dodgers have thrown this season, Miller is responsible for 116 of them.
Dodgers center fielder James Outman preserved Miller’s streak of 18 consecutive outs by making a diving catch in center field in the sixth inning.
Miller’s methodical dismantling of a veteran Milwaukee lineup made his recent results look like no fluke. He didn’t allow a run in his previous outing against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 9, but he was not rewarded with a decision. Miller didn’t allow a run Tuesday after Yelich scored from third base on a groundout. In 14 starts this season, Miller is 7-2 with a 3.70 ERA.
Ryan Yarbrough pitched three innings in relief of Miller, allowing only a solo home run by Carlos Santana on the way to his first career save.
After struggling for four innings against Brewers starter Adrian Houser (4-4), the Dodgers tied the score at 1-1 when David Peralta scored on a Miguel Rojas groundout.
In the sixth inning, the Dodgers chased Houser with a long rally. Will Smith reached on an error. Max Muncy singled. J.D. Martinez, making his first start at designated hitter since Aug. 6, hit a double to score Smith with the go-ahead run. A single by Kiké Hernandez scored Muncy and Martinez to put the Dodgers ahead 4-1.
Back-to-back singles by Rojas and Mookie Betts scored Hernandez and James Outman to complete the rally.
More to come on this story.