D-backs' visit Nationals with Haren deal lookin' good

Hill returns as D-backs open trip against Nationals with Haren trade looking like a steal.

It's funny how things turn out.

The Nationals are expected to place Dan Haren on the disabled list Tuesday with right shoulder stiffness, three days after he gave up six earned runs in 3 1/3 innings in a loss to the Rockies that pushed his ERA to 6.15. Haren is not convinced his shoulder is an issue, telling the Washington Post, "I don't know. What'd they say?" when told he was headed to the DL for the second time in as many seasons.

Haren was the principle piece in the trade that brought Patrick Corbin and Tyler Skaggs to the Diamondbacks from the Angels in the summer of 2010, a deal orchestrated by acting GM Jerry Dipoto and a deal that helped Dipoto get the Angels' GM job that winter. It could go down as one of the best trades in D-backs history, right up there with the Luis Gonzalez acquisition.

The first major leaguer to nine victories when he got there June 2, Corbin will make his fifth attempt at No. 10 in the final game of the Nationals series Thursday night. It is not his fault he has is not there yet. Corbin has given up just eight earned runs in his last 28 1/3 innings, and the bullpen could not hold a lead in his last start Saturday.

Pitching matchups: Tuesday -- RHP Trevor Cahill (3-8, 3.92 ERA) vs. LHP Gio Gonzalez (3-3, 3.34). Wednesday -- LHP Wade Miley (4-6, 4.70) vs. RHP Jordan Zimmermann (10-3, 2.26). Thursday -- LHP Patrick Corbin (9-0, 2.19) vs. RHP Stephen Strasburg (4-6, 2.40).

Who's hot for the D-backs: Paul Goldschmidt leads the National League in RBIs (65) and is tied for second in home runs (19) after a week in which he had four homers, two of them game-winners, and six RBI. .. Goldschmidt and Gerardo Parra are tied for fourth in the NL with a 3.9 WAR, and Parra will take a six-game hitting streak into the road trip. ... Miguel Montero is hitting .271 in June. ... Brad Ziegler has given up no runs and two hits in his last nine appearances, winning twice. ... Corbin is tied for second in the league with 13 quality starts.

Who's not hot for the D-backs: Closer Heath Bell has given up home runs in his last five appearances while losing one game and failing to convert a save opportunity in another, and his hold on the job is tenuous, seemingly more so if J.J. Putz returns as expected from a rehab assignment later this week. Putz has been out since May 8 with a strained right elbow. ... Wade Miley has won one of his last eight starts, and opponents are hitting .333 against him with runners in scoring position.

Who's hot for the Nationals: Jordan Zimmermann, tied for the NL lead in victories, is 7-0 with a 0.92 in eight starts at home this season. ... Ian Desmond has three homers and six RBI in his last five games, including a walkoff grand slam against the Phillies last Tuesday. He is hitting .280, the only Nationals qualifier who is above .270, and his 40 RBIs are second among NL shortstops. ... Second baseman Anthony Rendon, the sixth player taken in the 2011 draft, is 18 for 40 since he was recalled for good June 4, and he has five multi-hit games in his last nine.

Who's not hot for the Nationals: Reigning NL Rookie of the Year Bryce Harper has missed a month with left knee bursitis, and Friday he questioned manager Davey Johnson's assertion that he would start a rehab assignment today. Despite missing 31 games, Harper remains tied with Desmond for the team lead in homers with 12. ... Jayson Werth, who missed 28 games earlier in the season with a hamstring injury, left Saturday's game with a strained groin, although he is likely to return for the start of the series.

Notes, quotes, odds and ends: D-backs second baseman Aaron Hill is expected for play for the first time in nine weeks Tuesday after recovering from a fractured left hand suffered April 9. He had nine hits in his six rehab games at Class AAA Reno. Hill was hitting third in the lineup when he left, but that spot belongs to Goldschmidt now and maybe forever, so expect Hill to slide into the No. 2 spot in the order, where he spent most of last season. ... Washington, the popular choice to win the NL East and in some corners the NL pennant, has lost five of its last eight games while scoring 26 runs. The Nationals are 17-23 in their last 40 and rank 29th in the NL in runs, 28th in batting average and 27th in slugging percentage. ... The D-backs, still the only team in the majors that has not been shut out, face two of the top eight pitchers in the NL in ERA in Zimmermann and Strasburg. ... Washington reliever Drew Storen, who lost his closing job to free-agent signee Rafael Soriano, has been mentioned as a possible trade chip as the Nats look for rotation help.

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