Though Patrick Corbin has come up empty in four straight attempts at his 10th victory of the season, the left-hander can at least take comfort in the fact that Arizona keeps racking up wins when he starts.
Still, Corbin would love to finally secure that elusive victory and make a little franchise history on Thursday afternoon as the D'backs try to avoid a three-game sweep at the hands of Stephen Strasburg and the Washington Nationals.
Now in his second major league season, Corbin is 9-0 with a 2.19 earned run average through 15 starts in 2013, with Arizona winning all but one of those outings. Only Brandon Webb and Corbin have won their first nine decisions to begin a season in Diamondbacks history and a victory for the lefty today would make him the first to go 10-0.
That is easier said than done for Corbin, who has pitched well enough to win at least three of his four no-decisions. He has yielded three runs, five hits and five walks over consecutive eight-inning outings, a 3-2 loss to Miami on June 17 and a 4-3 triumph over Cincinnati on Saturday.
The 23-year-old was in line for a win over the Reds before Heath Bell blew a save.
"Obviously I'd like to get my 10th win out of the way, but we came back and ended up getting the win," said Corbin, who allowed just a solo homer in the outing.
Corbin has faced the Nats once before and picked up a home win on Aug. 12 of last year, allowing two runs and striking out seven over seven innings.
Just a little offensive support could be enough today for Corbin given the Nationals' struggles to score runs with Strasburg on the hill. The right- hander comes into his 15th start of the season two games under .500 at 4-6 despite a 2.40 ERA. However, he is getting the fewest support of any starter in baseball at 2.64 runs per game.
Strasburg has yielded just one earned run in each of his last six starts, going 3-1 with a 1.46 ERA. He did pick up a victory last time out on Friday versus Colorado, logging seven innings and working around five hits without a walk while some late offense helped him get a favorable 2-1 decision.
"If you throw the way (Strasburg) threw the ball tonight you deserve to get the win. As an offense we feel badly if we can't score runs to get him there. Even though tonight we only scored two it was enough to get him the win," said Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman.
Strasburg also struck out nine in his second start since returning from an oblique injury that forced him out of a May 31 outing after just two innings.
The 24-year-old is 1-0 with a 1.64 ERA in two previous meetings with the Diamondbacks.
The Nats eye their first sweep of the Diamondbacks since Aug. 7-9, 2009 in Washington after coming back from an early deficit to win Wednesday's meeting 3-2.
Jordan Zimmermann became the first 11-game winner in the National League after yielding two runs -- both in the first inning -- on three hits and two walks over seven innings.
Tyler Moore had a home run and Ryan Zimmerman went 2-for-3 with an RBI for the Nationals, who have won five of their last seven games.
"These guys have been giving me great run support all year. I'm pitching pretty well too, so I am happy," Zimmermann said.
Rookie Anthony Rendon added three hits for the Nats and is batting .392 in 18 games since being recalled from the minors on June 4, though Adam LaRoche had a 19-game home hitting streak snapped with an 0-for-3 effort.
Arizona starter Wade Miley gave up three runs -- two earned -- on seven hits and a walk over seven frames in a tough-luck loss. It also left Diamondback starters without a victory since June 5, with the rotation 0-8 in 18 games since.
"You have to give those guys credit. We're facing really good pitching. Our guys are battling and we're doing what we can. We just have to keep grinding," Miley said.
Paul Goldschmidt and Martin Prado drove in one run apiece for the Diamondbacks, who have lost three straight and seven of their past 11. They also fell to 17-11 in one-run games.
Goldschmidt, hitting .310 with 19 homers on the season, leads the NL with 67 RBI, with 44 of those coming on the road. He is hitless in three career at- bats versus Strasburg.
The Nationals won four of six against the Diamondbacks a season ago.