Diamondbacks-Nationals Preview


Washington's Jordan Zimmermann hasn't lost at Nationals Park in more than 13 months.

He'll look to make it 20 consecutive home starts without a defeat when he takes the mound against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday night.

Zimmermann (10-3, 2.26 ERA) is 7-0 with a 0.92 ERA in eight home starts this season, and the Nationals (38-38) have won his last 11 outings in the nation's capital. He hasn't lost at home since falling to Pittsburgh on May 17, 2012.

The right-hander has been particularly sharp in his three home starts this month, yielding three unearned runs and 12 hits over 23 innings. That includes Thursday against Colorado, when he gave up an unearned run and six hits in eight innings in a 5-1 victory.

"It seems like he's been pitching like this all year," catcher Kurt Suzuki told the Nationals' official website. "He's had a couple of hiccups here and there, but this is Jordan."

Zimmermann, who is one win shy of Detroit's Max Scherzer for the most in the majors, has a 3.55 ERA in losing his only two home starts against the Diamondbacks. He'll be facing an Arizona lineup that broke out of its offensive funk late in Tuesday's 7-5 series-opening loss to Washington.

The Diamondbacks (41-35), who lost 4-2 to Cincinnati on Sunday, fell behind 6-0 after five innings Tuesday before scoring in each of the final four frames.

Martin Prado snapped a 3-for-24 skid with two hits - one of six Arizona players to finish with multiple hits. Paul Goldschmidt recorded three hits for the second time in four games, and is 11 for 27 (.407) with four homers and seven RBIs over his last seven contests.

The Nationals are also looking a bit better at the plate. They've scored 13 in their last two after plating 20 in their previous seven.

Adam LaRoche led Washington on Tuesday, going 3 for 4 with a three-run home run, his 11th of the season. He had gone 22 straight games without a homer since hitting two May 28.

Anthony Rendon has four multihit performances in his last five games, going 9 for 22, and is batting .412 in his last eight home games.

The Nationals' offense could be boosted by the potential return of Ryan Zimmerman, who got an extra day of rest Tuesday due to discomfort in his surgically repaired right shoulder, according to manager Davey Johnson. Zimmerman, who pinch-hit in the seventh and popped out, is 3 for 5 with two doubles lifetime against scheduled starter Wade Miley (4-6, 4.70).

Miley has fared better on the road this season, posting a 3.96 ERA away from home. While he has 17 walks in 24 1-3 innings at Chase Field, the left-hander has issued 14 base on balls over 63 2-3 innings on the road.

His lack of control at home was evident Friday against Cincinnati, when he walked four and gave up three runs in 4 2-3 innings. He did not get a decision in an 11-5 win.

Miley is 1-1 with a 3.48 ERA in two starts against the Nationals. He shut Washington out through six innings in his only career start at Nationals Park in 2011.

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