(Sports Network) - While the Washington Nationals await the return of Stephen Strasburg, they'll be sending out another first-round draft pick in tonight's finale of a four-game series with the Arizona Diamondbacks from Chase Field.
Ross Detwiler, the sixth overall selection in the 2007 draft, gets the call for Washington tonight for his third start since reclaiming a spot in the team's rotation. The former Missouri State star has yet to win following a recent promotion to the majors, but comes off a solid showing his last time out.
Detwiler held two-time defending NL champion Philadelphia to one run over 5 1/3 innings this past Saturday and left the contest with a lead, but wound up without a decision after the Phillies rallied against the Washington bullpen later on. The young left-hander lasted only 3 2/3 frames in his season debut, a July 25 loss at Milwaukee in which he surrendered five runs that were all unearned due to a pair of Nationals' errors.
The 24-year-old hasn't had much luck during his tenure in the big leagues, having compiled an unwanted 1-7 record with a 4.52 ERA over 16 starts and a pair of relief appearances. Detwiler missed the first two months of this season recovering from hip surgery, then went 2-2 with a 2.27 ERA in eight starts between Single and Double A before being called up.
He'll be trying to follow up a strong pitching effort from his teammates in Wednesday's third test of this set, when five Nationals hurlers combined to hold the Diamondbacks' offense in check in a 7-2 victory.
Craig Stammen (4-4) worked the first 5 1/3 innings for Washington and permitted just one run while striking out six batters. He was staked to a comfortable 5-1 lead thanks to a pair of two-run homers from Adam Dunn, the slugging first baseman's NL-leading 27th and 28th of the season.
Dunn finished 3-for-5 and Adam Kennedy had two hits and a pair of RBI for the Nationals, who have won two of the first three games of this series and six of their last nine overall. Mike Morse added a solo home run later on and finished 2-for-3 for Washington.
Kelly Johnson paced Arizona offensively by going 3-for-5 and Adam LaRoche had a solo homer in a losing cause. Starting pitcher Ian Kennedy (6-9) lasted just four innings and was reached for four runs on eight hits.
Diamondbacks third baseman Mark Reynolds did start last night's game despite being struck in the head by a pitch in Tuesday's 6-1 win over the Nats. The power-hitting infielder was removed in the seventh inning after striking out in all three of his at-bats, however, and his status for the finale is uncertain.
"I didn't think I had a particularly good game myself tonight," Arizona interim manager Kirk Gibson said afterward. "I made some mistakes. I wasn't really on top of it."
Detwiler will be opposed tonight by another high choice of the 2007 draft in Barry Enright, who's acquitted himself well so far in his brief time in the big leagues. The right-hander has produced a very solid 2.78 ERA in six starts for the Diamondbacks and yielded two runs or fewer in all but one of those assignments.
Enright has thrown six innings of two-run ball in each of his last two starts, a July 25 no-decision against San Francisco and Saturday's non-verdict at the New York Mets. Those performances came on the heels of a terrific eight-inning stint against the Mets on July 20 in which the Pepperdine product gave up just one run and struck out a career-best eight batters to earn his second big- league win.
The 24-year-old, a second-round pick of the Diamondbacks in 2007, has a 2.92 ERA despite a 1-2 record through his first four starts at Chase Field.
Washington is now 7-2 over their last nine meetings with Arizona, having won five of the six games between the clubs in 2009.