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Nationals target desert sweep of D'backs

9:58 AM, Sep 29, 2013   |    comments
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(Sports Network) - Rookie right-hander Tanner Roark gets a fill-in start to close out his inaugural taste of the big leagues on Sunday when the Washington Nationals visit Chase Field to close out a three-game season-ending series with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The 26-year-old gets the call in place of starter Gio Gonzalez, who was shut down for the season after the Nationals won Saturday and guaranteed that manager Davey Johnson would end the season at 300 games above .500 for his career.

Roark, a 25th-round pick of the Texas Rangers in 2008, won his initial seven decisions as a big-leaguer through Sept. 17, but finally lost 4-3 on Sept. 23 in St. Louis after the Cardinals nicked him for nine hits and four runs in five innings.

Previously, in 12 appearances, Roark had posted a stingy 1.08 earned run average in 41 2/3 innings of work while allowing 26 hits and six runs in 41 2/3 innings.

Roark has never faced the Diamondbacks.

Arizona starts lefty Wade Miley, who's gone four starts without a loss since Sept. 3.

The 26-year-old was 9-10 on the year after a 10-4 loss to Toronto, but has since gone 1-0 in four outings and dropped his ERA from 3.78 to 3.63.

He pitched six innings of scoreless four-hit ball in his last start on Sept. 24 at San Diego, but got just a no-decision in the Diamondbacks' 2-1 triumph.

Miley dropped his lone career meeting against Washington after allowing three runs on seven hits in seven innings.

On Saturday, Dan Haren carved up Arizona's lineup and the Nationals blanked the Diamondbacks 2-0.

Haren (10-14) threw 77 of his 107 pitches for strikes as he went seven innings, allowing just four hits and a walk. Drew Storen pitched a perfect eighth to preserve the lead and Rafael Soriano earned his 43rd save of the year.

Chad Tracy had a pair of hits, including his fourth home run of the season, in the triumph. Ryan Zimmerman drove in his 18th RBI in September, matching Jayson Werth's team-leading total for the season's final month.

Brandon McCarthy (5-11) pitched well in defeat, serving up five hits and two runs in seven innings. D'backs first baseman Paul Goldschmidt extended his hitting streak to 18 games.

The Nationals won two of three from Arizona when the teams last played in June. Washington won four of six games in the 2012 season series.

The Sports Network

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