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J. D. Martinez has been exactly the spark Arizona hoped for, and the midseason acquisition leads the NL wild-card contenders into a series against San diego. Martinez has 24 homers in 51 games since being traded from Detroit to the Diamondbacks, giving him 40 on the season. Arizona's magic number to clinch a playoff spot is six.
The Nationals qualified for the playoffs in three of the previous five years, yet injuries have limited Stephen Strasburg to just one postseason start in that span. Left largely without the All-Star right-hander, Washington lost the opening series each time.
Strasburg ended his club-record scoreless streak at 35 innings, but two home runs from Ryan Zimmerman helped the NL Cy Young Award contender win his fourth consecutive start as Washington beat the Los angeles Dodgers 7-1 on Sunday night.
Strasburg (14-4) allowed a run in the second inning on Logan Forsythe's double, the first against him since Aug. 19. He struck out eight and combined with three relievers to toss a five-hitter. Stras' was awesome, Nationals manager Dusty Baker said.