Strasburg Takes The Mound As Nationals Face Diamondbacks

(Sports Network) - Right-handed rookie phenom Stephen Strasburg makes his second start since a stint on the disabled list today, when the Washington Nationals host the Arizona Diamondbacks in the finale of a three-game series at Nationals Park.

Strasburg, the first pick of the 2009 draft out of San Diego State, was 5-2 with a 2.32 earned run average in nine starts and struck out 75 batters in 54 1/3 innings before a bout with right shoulder inflammation put him on the shelf at the end of July.

He returned in an 8-2 home loss to Florida on Tuesday and allowed six hits and six runs, with four strikeouts, in 4 1/3 innings. The defeat dropped Strasburg to 5-3 on the season and raised his ERA three-quarters of a run to 3.07.

Strasburg has never faced the Diamondbacks.

Arizona counters with slightly-less publicized rookie right-hander Barry Enright, who makes the ninth start of his career and searches for his fourth win.

The 24-year-old had his initial meeting with Washington on Aug. 5 in Phoenix and earned an 8-4 win after allowing six hits and two runs in six innings.

He's pitched at least five innings in all of his starts and has gone sox or more in five straight.

In 47 2/3 innings overall, the 6-foot-3, 220-pound Californian has allowed just 41 hits and 14 runs, while walking 17 batters and striking out 30. On the road, Enright is 1-0 with a 2.12 ERA in three starts.

Washington won the initial game on Friday before Arizona bounced back with Saturday's 9-2 victory, with Miguel Montero hitting two of the team's four home runs. Gerardo Parra and Kelly Johnson each hit solo homers for the Diamondbacks, who won for the seventh time in 10 games.

Arizona starter Ian Kennedy (7-9) was solid in seven innings, allowing two runs on five hits. The right-hander also struck out seven and walked one to take the win, along with going 2-for-3 with an RBI and run scored at the plate.

Ryan Zimmerman hit a solo homer for the Nationals, who have dropped six of seven. Adam Kennedy knocked in the team's other run.

Jason Marquis (0-5) continued to struggle on the mound for Washington, giving up five runs on seven hits over four-plus frames. He fell to 2-7 lifetime against Arizona.

These two clubs split a four-game set in Arizona from Aug. 2-5. The Nationals have won eight of the last 12 overall meetings between the teams.

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