Jordan Zimmermann's last outing against the D-backs was a rare blemish on his season.
The 28-year-old right-hander, who has a 2.92 ERA in 24 starts, will look to reverse his fortunes against Arizona on Monday at Nationals Park and help his team tighten its grip on first place in the National League East. The Nats will lead the Braves by at least six games entering Monday.
Zimmermann came into his last outing against the D-backs -- a May 12 no-decision -- with a 2.92 ERA as well. But when he exited the game after 5 2/3 innings and five runs allowed, his ERA had ballooned to 3.59.
But this time, Zimmermann is working on a hot streak. In his last four outings, Zimmermann is 2-0 with a 1.69 ERA, and the Nationals are 3-1 in those games. That includes his last start when he earned his eighth win by limiting the Mets to one run on five hits in 6 1/3 innings.
The D-backs, on the other hand, will call on Vidal Nuno. The D-backs are 0-7 in games Nuno has started since joining the team in early July -- though not all necessarily because of Nuno's pitching.
Nuno has a 3.92 ERA with Arizona, but the D-backs have only once scored more than two runs in support of the left-hander.
Nationals: Werth pinch-hits for first appearance in a week
Outfielder Jayson Werth pinch-hit in the ninth inning of Sunday's win against the Pirates, his first appearance in a week. He drew a walk and scored the tying run in the ninth inning to force extras at Nationals Park. He scored the game-winning run after hitting a leadoff double in the 11th.
Werth has been out of the starting lineup since Aug. 10 after suffering a sprained AC joint in his right shoulder. Manager Matt Williams didn't start Werth on Sunday, saying his shoulder was tender, but Werth felt good enough to make a late-game showing.
Williams hopes that once Werth is healthy enough to rejoin the lineup full time, the shoulder ailment won't cost him more games in the future.
D-backs: Rookie Inciarte learning from mistakes
Ender Inciarte was never a hyped prospect moving through the D-backs' Minor League system, but since arriving in the Majors in May, he's served as an adequate backup. And after A.J. Pollock suffered a fractured right hand, Inciarte has played in the outfield every day.
But with a lot of playing time comes a fair share of rookie mistakes.
Inciarte committed one of five D-backs errors in Saturday's 2-1 loss to the Marlins, overthrowing home plate in the second inning. Despite the growing pains, manager Kirk Gibson said Inciarte is still itching to learn.
"He's been great, though," Gibson said. "He's been very open-minded. He wants you to tell him right from wrong. He's open to suggestions about how to make him a better, more consistent player.
"He's young and he gives you his total heart every day. That's good, but we've just got to kind of mix some experience in with that to make him even that much of a better player. He's learning that. He'll be very good."
• The D-backs have played better on the road than at Chase Field this season, going 25-39 at home and 28-32 away.
• The Nationals' current six-game winning streak is their longest of the season. The team last rattled off seven straight victories from Sept. 7-13 last season.
Adam Lichtenstein is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.