- Associated Press - Thursday, May 19, 2016

PHOENIX (AP) - Considering how hard the New York Yankees hit him, Shelby Miller escaped Wednesday night’s game relatively unscathed.

But the Arizona Diamondbacks couldn’t touch New York starter Nathan Eovaldi in a 4-2 loss to the Yankees.

Eovaldi retired the 18 batters he faced after allowing a freak leadoff base hit and the Yankees salvaged the final game of a three-game series.

“He was throwing all three, four pitches for strikes,” Arizona’s Brandon Drury said. “He was throwing 98 mph. He was throwing sliders and split-fingers in hitter’s counts.”

Jean Segura’s ground ball to start the first inning bounced off the bag at second and dribbled into the outfield for a double.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi thought it would have been a base hit even if it hadn’t hit the bag, “but it was one of the weirder doubles you’re going to see.”

After that, only two balls even reached the outfield off the Yankees right-hander, who hit 100 mph on the Chase Field radar gun while improving to 4-0 in his last five starts.

Eovaldi (4-2) gave up one run and struck out five with no walks.

Brett Gardner hit a two-run homer and Jacoby Ellsbury went 3 for 3 with an RBI single for New York. Aroldis Chapman threw a perfect ninth for his fourth save since being reinstated on May 9.

Miller (1-5) scattered 10 hits over 5 2/3 innings, allowing three runs.

“I gave up a lot of hits, kind of made some mistakes,” he said. “Other than the first inning I felt pretty comfortable. I just made a bad pitch, hung a changeup to Gardner then walked the first guy which is always not good. “

Eovaldi threw just 85 pitches and admitted he was “a little bit disappointed” not to come out for the seventh.

But Girardi instead turned the ball over to the well-rested big three at the back end of the bullpen - Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller and Chapman.

“I’m going to take my chances probably 99 percent of the time with Betances, Miller and Chapman,” Girardi said, “just because they’re so good.”

The only other Arizona hit for the night was Chris Owings’ home run off Andrew Miller in the eighth.

Ellsbury opened the game with a walk and Gardner hit Shelby Miller’s 1-2 pitch into the right field seats for his fifth home run of the season.

After his unorthodox double in the first, Segura took third on a ground out and scored when Paul Goldschmidt bounced out to third. Third baseman Chase Headley may have had a chance to throw the runner out at home, especially when Segura screeched to a stop about two-thirds of the way there, but chose to get the sure out instead.

New York added a run in the sixth.

With a runner at second and two outs, Arizona manager Chip Hale went to the mound but chose not to make a pitching change.

Ellsbury followed with an RBI single, making him 6 for 6 lifetime against Miller.

“Those are the reason why managers don’t sleep,” Hale said. “We are trying to give Shelby confidence. He is our guy. I believe in him. On the other hand, you know the matchup might be better because Ellsbury’s hit him so hard.”

The Diamondbacks finished the homestand 2-5.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Yankees: Alex Rodriguez (strained right hamstring) is eligible to come off the DL on Thursday but manager Joe Girardi says it will be a few days more before that happens. SS Didi Gregorius was hit in the ankle by a line drive off the bat of Headley in the second inning but stayed in the game.

Diamondbacks: RHP Josh Collmenter (right shoulder inflammation) allowed a run on four hits in 4 1/3 innings in a rehab start for Triple-A Reno on Tuesday night. Hale said Collmenter will make one more rehab appearance before joining the big league club.

UP NEXT

Yankees: RHP Ivan Nova (2-1, 3.70 ERA) makes his third start of the season Thursday night when the Yankees open a four-game series in Oakland. He is 1-0 with a 1.74 ERA in his two starts after making his first five appearances of the season out of the bullpen.

Diamondbacks: Arizona has only its second day off in the last 38 days on Thursday. LHP Patrick Corbin (19-3, 4.14) makes the start Friday night in the opener of a three-game series at St. Louis.

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