The Arizona Diamondbacks need to win each of their final two games to finish this season above .500. Paul Goldschmidt will try to help his club earn the first of those victories while securing a career-best hit streak.
The NL's leading home run hitter will try to accomplish both feats Saturday night when he faces former Diamondbacks pitcher Dan Haren in the continuation of a series against the Washington Nationals .
Goldschmidt singled in the fifth inning to extend his hit streak to 17 games, but Arizona (80-80) suffered a third straight loss in Friday's series opener with the Nationals. Jayson Werth and Wilson Ramos each hit three-run homers for Washington (85-75) in an 8-4 victory.
Goldschmidt is slated to face Haren initially in his attempt at his first 18-game hit streak. The right-hander played for two-plus seasons in Arizona before being dealt to the Los Angeles Angels in July 2010.
Haren won a career-best 16 games in 2008 for the Diamondbacks and tied that mark in 2011, but he enters this start just hoping to reach double digits.
Haren (9-14, 4.87 ERA) has come up short in his past two attempts at a 10th win, including a 4-2 defeat Sunday to Miami. He gave up three runs over six innings in his third loss in four decisions.
Haren wasn't sharp in his only start against the Diamondbacks, yielding five runs over 6 1-3 innings in a 5-0 loss June 15, 2012, while with the Angels.
He'll try to win in this matchup, which will serve as Nationals manager Davey Johnson's penultimate game before retirement. The 70-year-old Johnson is 1,371-1,070 in his 17 seasons leading five different clubs, including the 1986 World Series champion New York Mets ."I enjoy every day for what it brings me," he said. "I've been fortunate to wear this uniform a long time and it's time to hang it up and go home and see my grandkids, take on another challenge. Who knows?"
Brandon McCarthy (5-10, 4.64) will try to help add to Johnson's loss total in his first start against Washington and earn his third win in four decisions.
The right-hander suffered his first defeat in four starts Monday in San Diego, giving up four runs over six innings in a 4-1 loss.
"I felt good but I made a couple of mistakes," he said.
Goldschmidt, hitting .397 during his streak and .383 in his last 11 games against Washington, will face Haren for the first time. Aaron Hill has the most experience against him among Diamondbacks hitters, going 7 for 22 (.318) with two doubles and a home run.
|September 08, 2013||Bryce Harper||Day-to-Day||Left hip soreness|
|August 22, 2013||Ian Desmond||Day-to-Day||Back stiffness|
|August 17, 2013||Taylor Jordan||15-Day DL||Lower back strain|
|August 13, 2013||Wilson Ramos||Day-to-Day||Left game - strained left hamstring|
|August 11, 2013||Jayson Werth||Day-to-Day||Right knee|
|August 01, 2013||Ross Ohlendorf||15-Day DL||Right shoulder inflammation|
|September 07, 2013||Martin Prado||Day-to-Day||Illness|
|August 24, 2013||J.J. Putz||15-Day DL||Dislocated right pinky finger|
|August 24, 2013||J.J. Putz||15-Day DL||Dislocated right pinky finger|
|August 12, 2013||Cody Ross||60-Day DL||Dislocated right hip|
|August 11, 2013||Cody Ross||Day-to-Day||Dislocated right hip|
|August 10, 2013||Eric Chavez||15-Day DL||Hip and knee injuries|
PHOENIX (AP) -- Dan Haren knows there is little chance he will be back with the Washington Nationals .
So the way he concluded a disappointing season in a 2-0 victory over Arizona on Saturday night brought a mixture of satisfaction and sadness.
He felt satisfaction that at least he had pitched well lately, disappointment that his year or the Nationals' season wasn't what they had envisioned.
"I can't believe that it's over," Haren said. "It seems like yesterday I was flying to D.C. and getting a tour of the facility with Riz (general manager Mike Rizzo) and here we are 10 months later and I'll probably take off the Nats uniform for the last time tomorrow. It happened fast. Things go quick, and it's sad a little bit."
Haren (10-14), the former Diamondbacks pitcher who signed a one-year, $13 million deal with the Nationals and struggled mightily for much of the season, allowed four hits in seven innings. He struck out five and walked one.
The 33-year-old right-hander, a free agent at the end of the season, was 6-2 in his last 12 starts.
When the game was over, manager Davey Johnson gathered the team together and thanked them.
Johnson, 70, is retiring after three decades as a player, then manager. There was applause and hugs, and the players gave Johnson a bottle of wine.
Johnson had come up with a motivator for this final series after Washington was eliminated from playoff contention Monday in St. Louis.
He wanted to end his career with at least 300 more wins than losses. Saturday night's victory made sure that would happen.
"It's wonderful," Johnson said. "The effort was outstanding. I can't even put words on it. Tomorrow I'm going to play the young guys. Some of the other guys, their seasons are finished. They battled hard. I really thanked them a lot for the effort and I know they're in a good place going forward."
Brandon McCarthy (5-11) gave up two runs and five hits in seven innings.
With the loss, Arizona fell to 80-81, the first time the Diamondbacks have been under .500 this season.
"We just haven't hit,' manager Kirk Gibson said . "We scored 11 runs in six games. He (Haren) pitched a good game and we give him credit, but you have to have better opportunities and make the most of your opportunities.
"We had it at the end, but we couldn't get it down. You throw seven innings and give up two runs you expect to win those games."
Arizona threatened against Rafael Soriano in the ninth. Paul Goldschmidt flied out to deep center, then Martin Prado singled and Miguel Montero walked.
A wild pitch advanced the runners to third and second, but Soriano struck out Matt Davidson and retired Chris Owings on a fly ball for his 43rd save.
Drew Storen threw a scoreless eighth as the third link of the shutout.
Denard Span and Chad Tracy scored the game's only runs.
Span tripled to the right-field corner leading off the sixth and scored when Ryan Zimmerman grounded out.
In the seventh, Tracy hit a solo shot that landed on the far side of the swimming pool in right field and bounced back into the water.
Meanwhile, Arizona didn't do much against Haren, with all four of its hits coming with two outs.
McCarthy had a solid final outing in an injury-filled season but got no offensive support from the Diamondbacks, who lost their fourth straight.
The right-hander retired the first 11 batters before Jayson Werth singled.
The game whizzed by in 2 hours, 25 minutes.
NOTES: After the game, Johnson said he had scratched RHP Gio Gonzalez from Sunday's start and would go with Tanner Roark (7-1, 1.74). LHP Wade Miley (10-10, 3.63) goes for Arizona. ... Goldschmidt extended his career-best hitting streak to 18 games. Goldschmidt fell into a tie for the NL lead in homers when Pedro Alvarez of Pittsburgh hit his 36th on Saturday.
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