A pair of third-place National League teams get together tonight when the host Cincinnati Reds take on the visiting Washington Nationals in the first of three weekend games at Great American Ball Park.
The Reds, winners of the NL Central Division last season, have stumbled to irrelevance in 2011, falling two games under .500 and 13 games behind the front-running Milwaukee Brewers in the six-team race.
The Nationals, meanwhile, are five games below .500 after losing three straight and find themselves 21 1/2 games in back of the Philadelphia Phillies in the NL East.
On Thursday in Washington, Chris Young and Paul Goldschmidt each homered and drove in three runs, and Wade Miley recorded his first major league win, as the Arizona Diamondbacks pulled away late for an 8-1 triumph over the Nationals.
John Lannan (8-10) yielded seven hits and a pair of runs over six frames, but suffered his third consecutive defeat.
Michael Morse had a pair of hits and knocked in the lone run for the Nationals, who scored in just two of the final 31 innings of this four-game series.
Taiwanese right-hander Chien-Ming Wang makes his sixth start of the season overall and second against Cincinnati for Washington.
The 31-year-old, limited in recent years by arm trouble, tossed 6 1/3 innings of four-run ball against the Reds on Aug. 16 in Washington and emerged with a 6-4 victory.
It was his second of 2011 and second in a row after opening with two losses on July 29 and Aug. 3.
In 27 overall innings, Wang has allowed 19 runs on 28 hits.
The defeat of the Reds was his first start against them in a career that's seen him make 114 appearances and win 57 games since he debuted with the New York Yankees in 2005.
Cincinnati starts another reclamation project in southpaw Dontrelle Willis.
The former 20-game winner has won just three times in four seasons since recording 10 victories with the Florida Marlins in 2007, the last of five consecutive double-digit win years.
He has yet to record a win in eight starts with the Reds this season while posting a 4.14 earned run average in 45 2/3 innings.
In his most recent start, Willis allowed three runs on eight hits in six innings while getting a no-decision in Cincinnati's 5-3 loss at Pittsburgh on Aug. 20.
He's won 10 of 15 career decisions against the Nationals across 17 starts.
On Wednesday in Miami, Bronson Arroyo threw eight shutout innings to pick up his first win in two months and the Reds held on for a 3-2 victory over the Marlins in the second game of a doubleheader.
Florida won the opener, 6-5, after surviving a ninth-inning rally by the Reds.
Cincinnati was in the opposite position in the nightcap, when a 3-0 lead dwindled to a one-run edge. But Francisco Cordero avoided blowing the save and secured a split.
Arroyo (8-10) was stellar in his start, limiting Florida to only six hits without a walk. The performance -- backed by another homer by Joey Votto, who went deep in the first game -- allowed him to win for the first time since June 25.
Washington took two of three from the Reds last week.