When he thinks back to the Wade Miley of early this season, the one who lugged a 5.00 ERA around for much of the season's first three months, Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero remembers the delivery. It looked tight and unnatural, like someone trying to exert a little more from himself than humanly possible.

"I think he was trying too hard," Montero said.

The Miley who pitched Saturday afternoon at AT&T Park was different, at least to Montero's eyes. He was smooth and confident. He looked comfortable. He had his rhythm back. And, for the third consecutive outing, it showed in the results, as Miley turned in seven shutout innings in a 2-0 blanking of the San Francisco Giants.

Injuries early in the year left the Diamondbacks shorthanded. They also created different expectations for those who remained healthy, including Miley, who admitted he was guilty of seeing his teammates go down — namely, left-hander Patrick Corbin and right-hander David Hernandez — and feeling responsible for filling picking up the slack.

"We had a lot of injuries," Miley said, "and I think everybody put it on their shoulders and said, 'Hey, somebody's got to pick this team. Somebody's got to be the guy.' And I think that's kind of held us back a little bit."

Said Montero: "Definitely he felt like he needed to step it up, which is tough for one guy. You can only do so much."

Miley has said he has felt fine throughout the season, and the quality of his stuff has been the same as in previous years. But early on, his results sagged. Through his first 13 starts, he gave up 14 home runs and posted a 4.85 ERA.

In his past seven games, he's given up just three homers. In the past three starts, he's allowed just three earned runs in 21 2/3 innings.