MLB

Nationals-Diamondbacks Preview

After the Washington Nationals and Arizona Diamondbacks traded lopsided victories to open their three-game set, it's uncertain which club has the upper hand for Wednesday's finale at Chase Field.

One night after Max Scherzer stymied his former team during Washington's 11-1 victory, Arizona (15-17) tagged Stephen Strasburg for eight runs in 3 1-3 innings to end the Nationals' five-game winning streak with a 14-6 win Tuesday.

"We had a good game plan going in," Diamondbacks manager Chip Hale said.

The Nationals (18-16) had won 11 of their last 13 and owned a 33-9 run advantage during a six-game series winning streak that ended Tuesday.

''I think every time (Strasburg) made a mistake - not every time but close to every time - we put some wood on it and some really good things happened," said outfielder Mark Trumbo, who hit a three-run homer and a solo shot.

''I think this was exactly what we needed - especially after (Monday) night.''

Aaron Hill stayed hot with three hits and two RBIs as Arizona improved to 3-3 on a seven-game homestand. After batting .156 with two RBIs in his first 14 games, Hill is hitting .455 with nine RBIs in his last 11.

"Honestly feeling better, but feeling more relaxed," Hill told MLB's official website. "Not that I've found a swing, but I definitely feel more comfortable in the box now, as opposed to a few weeks ago.

He's batting .333 with five RBIs in 10 games versus Washington at Chase Field, but is 3 for 13 with a double against Gio Gonzalez (3-2, 3.62 ERA).

The left-hander looks to win a third straight start after allowing two runs and striking out 17 while lasting seven innings in each of the last two. He gave up those two runs over the first three innings of Friday's 9-2 victory over Atlanta.

Gonzalez, who yielded four hits in seven innings while not factoring in the decision of a 1-0 win over the Diamondbacks on Aug. 21, is 2-0 with a 1.33 ERA against them.

Teammate Bryce Harper homered for the seventh time in six games Tuesday. During that stretch, he's 13 for 23 with 11 runs scored, 16 RBIs and a 2.181 OPS after going 1 for 17 in the previous five contests.

Making his first appearance versus Washington, Jeremy Hellickson (1-3, 5.85) has allowed at least four runs and failed to complete five innings in half of his six starts. Both happened Friday when the right-hander yielded five over 4 2-3 innings while not factoring in the decision of a 6-5 home loss to San Diego.

''I feel that anytime we score five runs I've got to come out with a win,'' said Hellickson, who is 0-2 with a 7.90 ERA in three home starts this season. ''It's just frustrating. ... I just got to start doing my part."

Teammate Chris Owings, who was a home run shy of the cycle Tuesday, is 5 for 9 in the series.

Promoted Stories
Comments

More MLB