- 142 wins
- 110 wins
ANAHEIM -- Yes, Aaron Hill expected the Angels to walk Miguel Montero to get to him and no, he did not take it personally.
What the D-backs' second baseman did do, though, was make the move backfire as he blasted a three-run homer to lead his team to a 5-0 win Friday night at Angel Stadium.
The offensive output was more than enough for D-backs starter Trevor Cahill, who put together another outstanding start to run his winning streak to three.
Using all four of his pitches, Cahill (5-5) had the Angels off-balance throughout his seven-plus innings as he fanned a season-high eight while allowing three hits and two walks.
"Especially early on I was able to put guys away and mix things up," Cahill said. "Just trying to go after guys and I was just mixing in pitches, got good defense and run support which it makes it easier to pitch."
Over his last three starts, Cahill has allowed two runs in 23 1/3 innings, and Montero has done a nice job of helping him mix up his pitches.
"He's just been rolling one start after another," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "When he's got all of his pitches, as a hitter you get caught up looking for something and he throws something else. He's got a pretty good knack and Miggy is doing a good job of managing his game for him. His off-speed and secondary pitches are exceptional, especially when he throws them down in the zone."
The D-backs faced a familiar foe in Angels right-hander Dan Haren, who pitched in Arizona from 2008 until being dealt just before the Trade Deadline in 2010.
Knowing that Haren can be especially dangerous when he gets ahead in the count because he can then drop in his signature split-finger pitch, the D-backs were aggressive against him early in their at-bats.
After scoring a run off Haren two batters into the game, the D-backs could do little else against him, as they managed just one more hit over the next four innings.
Things changed, though, in the sixth.
With two outs and Jason Kubel on second, Angels pitching coach Mike Butcher visited the mound to ask Haren if he wanted to face Montero or intentionally walk him and take his chances with Hill.
"It was a situation where we definitely trust Dan enough to get a feel for it," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.
In his at-bat two innings earlier, Montero had worked a 12 pitch at-bat fouling off six straight pitches, before managing a single.
With that fresh in his mind, Haren elected to try to get Montero to chase a pitch out of the zone, and when the count became 2-0, Montero was intentionally walked.
"I assumed they would pitch around him," Hill said. "See if Miggy would get himself out, and if not, they'd walk him and that's kind of the way it worked out."
After missing with a cutter on the first pitch, Haren threw another, and this time Hill jumped on it and hit it over the wall in left for a three-run homer and a 4-0 Arizona lead.
"Unfortunately, he got a hold of a cutter and hit it out of the park," Scioscia said.
That was more than enough for Cahill, who did not allow an Angels baserunner to reach third base.
"He has a terrific sinker, changes speeds well, good changeup, breaking ball, used his slider and curveball tonight," Scioscia said. "But he got in the zone with a lot of movement and obviously we didn't get too many good looks at him."