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Nats try to make it nine straight wins versus D-backs

(SportsNetwork.com) - When you handle your business, scoreboards don't matter.

The Atlanta Braves have won five in a row to right their ship in the National League East playoff race, but the Washington Nationals haven't budged a bit in the top spot -- winning eight straight and looking for nine when they host the Arizona Diamondbacks in game three of a four-game series on Wednesday night at Nationals Park.

The Nationals lead the East by six games.

"I think we're just coming together," Washington's Ian Desmond said. "We've kind of established our way, I guess you would say."

The streak is Washington's longest since a 10-game run in June 2005.

The Nationals have won 12 of 16 games against Arizona and have lost just one of the last seven in the matchup at home. Contrary to Washington's success, the Diamondbacks have won just five of 17 games in August and eight of their last 24 on the road.

Still, Arizona will start streaking right-hander Trevor Cahill, who's won two decisions in three starts this month while maintaining a 2.18 earned run average. He defeated Miami in his most recent outings on Friday after allowing two runs in 6 2/3 innings.

He last faced Washington in June 2013 and is 0-2 with an 8.18 ERA in his last two meetings with the Nationals.

He's opposed by Tanner Roark, who defeated Pittsburgh, 5-4, on Friday after allowing three runs in 5 2/3 innings. His ERA in August is 4.26, after he'd been more successful in August with a 1.29 mark.

He's faced Arizona only once, last September, and gave up an unearned run in seven innings.

On Tuesday, Stephen Strasburg tossed eight strong innings and the Nationals backed him with six runs of support in the third, as Washington beat the Diamondbacks, 8-1.

Strasburg (10-10) gave up a homer in the first, but followed with seven scoreless frames. The righty allowed just three hits and one walk, while striking out four for his third victory in four starts.

Asdrubal Cabrera drove in three runs with a double during the explosive frame for Washington, and Desmond finished 3-for-4 with four RBI, a run scored and a stolen base.

Chase Anderson (7-5) was charged with six runs on six hits and three walks and while failed to record an out during the disastrous third inning. He lost for the first time since July 2.

David Peralta's home run in the opening frame was the only run for the D- backs, who have lost four in a row and seven of nine overall.

Ender Inciarte went 0-for-4, ending his career-best and team-rookie-record 18- game hitting streak, which was the longest active streak in the majors.

08/20 09:49:50 ET

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CLE 21
BAL 23
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GBP 7
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NYG 30
HOU 17
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JAC 17
IND 44
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NOS 20
MIN 9
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NEP 16
OAK 9
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BUF 10
SDC 22
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CIN 33
TEN 7
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WAS 34
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ARI 23
SFX 14
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SEA 26
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