Gio Gonzalez looks to secure his first victory in nearly two months on Tuesday night when the Washington Nationals begin a three-game series with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Gonzalez has not found the win column since May 5, going without a victory in eight starts since. However, the left-hander has lost just once over that time as well.
Gonzalez has allowed more than three runs or fewer in all but one of those outings and that resulted in a loss on May 27 versus Baltimore. He is coming off a solid outing in Philadelphia on Wednesday, giving up a two-run homer in the first and nothing else over his seven-inning outing. He retired 14 of the next 15 batters he faced after the home run and struck out a season-high 11 batters before his club came through with an extra-inning victory.
The 27-year-old is 3-3 with a 3.34 earned run average in 15 starts this season and will face Arizona for the second time in his career. The first encounter came on July 3, 2011 with Oakland and he picked up a victory after allowing one run over seven innings.
Gonzalez was teammates with Trevor Cahill during his stint with the A's and goes against his former mate on Tuesday.
Like Gonzalez, Cahill is also in the midst of a winless stretch, but hasn't been as effective on the mound. The righty is 0-4 with a 6.75 ERA in his last six starts and will look to shake off an injury that forced him out of his last start after one inning of work.
Against Miami on Wednesday, Cahill took a line drive off his right hip, with the comebacker deflecting to third baseman Martin Prado, who fired to first base for the final out of the inning.
Cahill came out to pitch the second inning, but exited during the first batter he faced with the count at 2-1. That left the 25-year-old unable to battle for his first wince since May 17 and he stands at 3-8 on the year with a 3.92 ERA in 15 starts.
Cahill has split two previous meetings with Washington, posting a 3.38 ERA. He will have the added benefit today of pitching behind a lineup that will feature the return of second baseman Aaron Hill.
Hill has not played since April 14 due to a broken left hand. He was hitting .306 with a pair of homers in 10 games before the injury and notched nine hits and six RBI in six rehab games with Triple-A Reno.
"I took some good swings; the timing was there," Hill said on Arizona's website. "I got the amount of at-bats I wanted, so I'm good. It's all about how you feel. Hits are always nice -- you never complain about a hit -- but you know when your swing is there and feeling good."
Hill returns for the start of a 10-game road trip and with the Diamondbacks looking to rebound after having a four-game win streak snapped with Sunday's 4-2 loss to Cincinnati.
Less certain is the status of Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth, who left Sunday's 7-6 setback to Colorado early due to a left groin injury. That came a day after he was scratched from the lineup due to flu-like symptoms.
Without Werth, the Nats failed to overtake the Rockies despite a four-run eighth inning that pulled the club to within a run. Washington had to attempt a rally after starter Ross Detwiler yielded seven runs over 3 2/3 innings.
"I think we're still pushing forward, it just wasn't very good on my part today," said Detwiler.
However, Washington dropped its second straight to split a four-game set and is a game under .500 at 37-38.
The Nationals won four of six against the Diamondbacks a season ago.