Gonzalez goes after third straight win in finale vs. D-backs

(SportsNetwork.com) - Gio Gonzalez eyes a third straight winning start Wednesday afternoon when the Washington Nationals close out a high-scoring three-game set with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The left-hander was hammered for six runs over five innings in a loss at Miami on April 26, but rebounded to beat the New York Mets 1-0 on May 2. He scattered six hits across seven scoreless innings, striking out nine to just to walks.

Gonzalez stayed on point on Friday versus Atlanta, taking a 9-2 win as he held the Braves to a pair of runs over seven innings. He struck out eight and walked only one batter, moving to 3-2 on the season with a 3.62 earned run average.

The 29-year-old is unbeaten in three career starts versus Arizona, going 2-0 with a 1.33 ERA while striking out 17 across 20 1/3 innings.

The Nationals and Diamondbacks combined for 28 hits in Tuesday night's meeting, with Arizona getting the most of its chances in a 14-6 victory. Mark Trumbo homered twice and drove in four runs, Ender Inciarte had a home run and three RBI and Aaron Hill finished with three hits and two RBI.

Arizona had lost three of four, including an 11-1 setback in Monday's opener.

Rubby De La Rosa earned the win after going seven innings and giving up four runs on eight hits.

"We had a good game plan going in," said D-backs manager Chip Hale. "Rubby has done a good job for us. We wanted to get him the lead."

Trumbo and Hill have put together impressive 11-game runs for Arizona. Trumbo has five homers and 13 RBI over that span, while Hill has hit .455 with three home runs and nine RBI over his last 11 contests.

Stephen Strasburg, forced out of his last start due to back tightness, was roughed up for a career-high eight runs -- seven earned -- on eight hits and a walk.

Bryce Harper clubbed a two-run homer and scored twice for the Nationals, who had their five-game winning streak halted. Harper is hitting .565 with seven home runs, 16 RBI and 11 runs scored over his last six games.

Washington catcher Wilson Ramos is hitting .390 over a 15-game hitting streak he extended with a ninth-inning single last night.

The Nationals have plated 46 runs over their last six games, not a good trend for Arizona hurler Jeremy Hellickson, who may be battling for a rotation spot. His status has come into question due to a 1-3 record and 5.85 ERA through six starts.

Hellickson has not won since April 19 and hasn't pitched past the sixth inning in three outings since. He was pulled after 4 2/3 innings on Friday versus San Diego, picking up a second straight no-decision despite giving up five runs on eight hits, two homers and a pair of walks.

"He just didn't throw enough strikes early in the count," Hale said of Hellickson. "I thought we battled back well."

The 28-year-old righty will face the Nationals for the first time.

The Nationals went 6-1 against the Diamondbacks last season and have won 15 of the previous 20 encounters.