(SportsNetwork.com) - Despite exiting his last start early due to back tightness, Stephen Strasburg is expected to make his start for the Washington Nationals on Tuesday night in the middle contest of a three-game set with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Strasburg lasted just three innings versus Miami on Tuesday, charged with two runs on four hits and two walks. He actually suffered a 2-1 loss, falling to 2-3 on the season with a 4.73 earned run average.
"I felt like I could have gotten through it," Strasburg said following the start. "But at this point of the season you just want to get it right."
The 26-year-old righty won't miss any time, however. He was worked on by a chiropractor and later logged a successful bullpen session Saturday, though the Nationals still opted to give him one extra day of rest.
Strasburg is 3-1 in six career starts against the Diamondbacks with a 2.25 ERA.
The Diamondbacks are hoping that Rubby De La Rosa has found his form and the right-hander will try to keep heading in the right direction tonight when he faces the Nationals for the first time.
De La Rosa has continued to improve since giving up six runs in winning his season debut back on April 7. He brought his ERA down to 4.68 through four starts after giving up just one run over seven innings of a no-decision versus Pittsburgh, but hit a bump when he gave up five runs over just five innings of a setback to the Los Angeles Dodgers on May 1.
The 26-year-old rebounded on Thursday against the San Diego Padres, doing his part in an 11-0 win by hurling seven scoreless innings of three-hit ball. De La Rosa walked two and struck out seven, moving to 3-2 on the year with a 4.38 ERA.
De La Rosa will be facing a Nationals offense that pounded out 15 hits and raced out to a big lead on Monday night on the way to an 11-1 victory.
Ryan Zimmerman smacked a three-run homer and Wilson Ramos had a three-run double as Washington built a 10-0 after two innings. Denard Span hit a solo homer and Yunel Escobar went 5-for-5 with an RBI and two runs scored.
Escobar recorded his second five-hit effort in seven games, upping his season average to .342. Bryce Harper added an RBI and the reigning NL Player of the Week is 11-for-20 over his past five games with six homers and 14 RBI.
"Tonight we got big hits," Washington manager Matt Williams said. "We got some opportunities early and took advantage."
Max Scherzer struck out six and allowed a run on five hits and a walk over seven innings for the Nationals, who have won five in a row and eight of their last nine games.
Josh Collmenter surrendered nine runs on eight hits and a walk over 1 1/3 frames for Arizona, which had won four of its last six games coming in.
"It was over early, but it counts as just one loss," Arizona manager Chip Hale said.
The Nationals went 6-1 against the Diamondbacks last season and have won 15 of the previous 19 encounters.