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Miley happy to pitch in against fierce rivals

BASEBALL: Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Wade Miley knows replacing a starting hurler like Pat Corbin is going to be a tough ask, going into tonight's historic Opening Series clash against the LA Dodgers at the SCG.

Corbin, who played at All Star-level last year, is one of the hottest young pitchers in Major League Baseball.

Corbin told APN at an Opening Series function last November he was looking forward to making the trip Down Under. But, after scans last weekend revealed damage to ligaments in his pitching arm, he was forced to remain in the States.

Miley (pictured) said he was "looking forward to the opportunity" of taking to the mound in place of Corbin.

"Tomorrow night is like any other start and I'm hoping for the best," he said.

"You can't replace a guy like Pat Corbin but I think we have enough depth to get through the year."

Miley, who finished second in the 2012 National League Rookie of the Year Award, said he was honoured to throw the opening pitch against his team's fierce west-coast rival, after both sides engaged in the "brawl of the season" last year.

"Everybody knows what happened last year, but I've just got to go out there and pitch now," he said.

"May the best team win."

It'll be straight back to the US for Miley after tomorrow night's second and final series match, something he was not looking forward to.

Miley has a fear of flying and drives 22 hours from Phoenix, Arizona to his family home in Hammond, Louisiana at season's end.

His teammate and infielder Didi Gregorius was delighted to be back in Australia, after he was one of the first imports in Australian Baseball League history, playing for the Canberra Cavalry in the team's inaugural ABL season.

"I saw a couple of the Canberra guys I played with in the Australian team and it was great to see them again," he told APN.

Dodgers left-hand reliever Paco Rodriguez, meanwhile, was confident of claiming some big scalps at a pitcher-friendly venue.

"It's like the Oakland venue when the foul zones are very big, which gives you more space to get the batters out," he said.