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COL@WSH: Zimmermann fans nine over eight innings

In a season filled with injuries and inconsistency, Nationals right-hander Jordan Zimmermann has been one of the few constants in Washington.

Zimmermann is one of three starters in the National League with 10 wins and he has a 2.26 ERA, fifth-best in the NL. The 27-year-old hasn't allowed an earned run in three of his past four starts and is the team's safest bet to play in the All-Star Game next month.

"I think [Zimmermann] should probably start the game," shortstop Ian Desmond said. "He's pitched unbelievable all year long, and if I were the manager, that's the horse I'd want."

"He's had, I don't know, maybe two rough outings," Adam LaRoche added. "Other than that, he's absolutely dominated."

Zimmermann has been particularly dominant at Nationals Park, where he hasn't lost a start since May 17, 2012. In eight home starts this season, he is 7-0 with a 0.92 ERA and 4.22 strikeout/walk ratio.

With a 7-5 loss against the Nationals on Tuesday, the D-backs began a brutal stretch of 20 games in 20 days that includes a 10-game road trip along the East Coast. The good news, however, is that the team is finally getting healthy.

Second baseman Aaron Hill, who has been out since mid-April with a fractured left hand, returned to the lineup on Tuesday and went 2-for-4 with a double. Injured closer J.J. Putz could return later this week if his rehab assignment goes well, and infielder Eric Chavez could follow suit before the road trip comes to an end.

"If we get everybody back, I'll probably get to the point where I can start rotating guys," manager Kirk Gibson said. "I'm going to have to be a little bit more proactive in getting guys in and out [of the lineup]."

Wade Miley will take the mound for the D-backs on Wednesday. He is 4-6 with a 4.70 ERA this season and has had three quality starts in his past four outings. Miley is the last D-backs starter to earn a victory as the team is currently in a 17-game stretch without a victory for one of its starters.

D-backs: Hinske serves suspension
Eric Hinske served a one-game suspension on Tuesday night stemming from the fracas in Los Angeles earlier this month.

Hinske was originally suspended for five games before he successfully appealed the ruling, reducing his suspension to one game. While he believes that he shouldn't have been suspended at all, Hinske decided to miss one game and put the ordeal behind him.

"Part of me still wants to appeal it because I feel like I did nothing wrong," Hinske said. "But bringing it down four games is drastic. It's a pretty fair thing."

Nationals: Harper begins rehab stint
Outfielder Bryce Harper played a rehab game at Class A Advanced Potomac on Tuesday as he continues to recover from bursitis in his left knee. Harper started in left field and went 1-for-1, knocking a double and scoring a run in three innings of action.

Manager Davey Johnson said Tuesday that Harper will likely not return to the Nationals before next week's series against the Brewers. He is expected to play at Potomac through Thursday and then spend the weekend with Class A Hagerstown.

Worth noting
• The D-backs have a cumulative .340 batting average against Zimmermann in 47 combined at-bats.

• With a single in the second inning on Tuesday, Martin Prado has now hit safely in 12 of his past 14 games against the Nationals (21-for-57).

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