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Corbin hurls six scoreless, fanning five

The top three starters of the Nationals' rotation -- Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez and Jordan Zimmermann -- have each earned National League Pitcher of the Month honors this season. After two brilliant starts to begin August, Ross Detwiler could round out the quartet by month's end.

Detwiler will take the mound for the Nats in the series finale with the D-backs on Sunday afternoon at Chase Field, looking for a sweep. The 26-year-old left-hander threw seven innings against the Astros on Tuesday, surrendering two runs on three hits and earned a no-decision in a 3-2 win. Five days earlier, he tossed another seven strong innings, this time allowing three hits to improve to 6-4 in a 3-0 win over the Phillies.

"I'm throwing a lot of sinkers. I'm throwing a lot of fastballs," Detwiler said after his last start. "They're trying to jump on it early, and they're trying to get a good pitch to hit. If I can make my pitch, that's what I want to do. I want to get out of there early, and I'll be able to go deeper in games."

The Nats own the best record in baseball at 71-43, and their performance during their current eight-game winning streak has provided the template for how Washington would like to cruise into the postseason for the first time since the club known as the Expos moved to the nation's capital in 2005. Strong outings from Strasburg, Zimmermann and Gonzalez alleviated most of the pressure on the Nats' bats, which have also heated up in August. During their winning streak, the Nationals have averaged 5.7 runs per game. Had a scoring change not eliminated a Michael Morse single on Aug. 2, the Nats' outfielder would be enjoying a 20-game hitting streak. Ryan Zimmerman, despite seeing his batting average dip as low as .218 on June 24, has hit .347 in the 42 games since and improved his home run total to 16.

Arizona, which has lost five of its first nine games this month, will give Patrick Corbin the eighth start of his career on Sunday.

Nationals: Lombardozzi heating up
After going 4-for-5 in the Nats' 9-1 win over the D-backs on Friday, Steve Lombardozzi went 2-for-4 in their 6-5 win on Saturday. Lombardozzi, who has been playing second base again after shortstop Ian Desmond's trip to the disabled list forced the Nats to shuffle their infield, has boosted his batting average .272.

D-backs: Corbin gets another start
Corbin will take the mound for his third start since being called up from Triple-A Reno on July 31. Corbin has now had three stints in the Majors this season -- two as a starter -- posting a 3-4 record and 3.53 ERA. The 23-year-old left-hander has allowed only two runs on eight hits over his past two starts, with the pair of runs both coming in the D-backs' 10-4 win at the Pirates on Tuesday. Six days earlier, Corbin threw another six innings, allowing two hits and zero runs in a 4-0 win over the Dodgers.

"I just realized what you need to do to prepare yourself to pitch," Corbin said of coming up three times this season. "Coming back as a starter, I know my body a bit better. My breaking ball up here the first time wasn't the best. I wasn't throwing it as much as I should -- that's what I learned coming back the second time."

Worth noting
• Detwiler is winless in his last seven road starts, primarily due to a lack of run support. He's received two or fewer runs while in the game in five of those outings.

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