Scherzer looking for first win in 14th start

Scherzer looking for first win

ATLANTA -- It's going to happen, that much seems certain.

When Max Scherzer will pick up his first Major League win is less clear.

The right-hander will try again Saturday night when he takes the mound against the Braves at Turner Field in the second game of a three-game set.

It will be Scherzer's 23rd appearance and 14th start dating back to last year, and while he has pitched well in most of those games as his career 3.39 ERA indicates, he has yet to taste victory.

"Everybody wants to have him get his first win," new manager A.J. Hinch said. "He's going to win a lot of games at the Major League level, but the first one is tougher to come by."

For whatever reason that has seemed to be the case. Teammate Dan Haren said he thinks once Scherzer gets a win under his belt, the floodgates will open and many more will follow.

"He knows he can win every baseball game that he pitches," Hinch said. "So I don't think he's letting it get to him. Almost the less we talk about it, the less we have to worry about."

The D-backs have plenty of other things to be concerned about. Their 4-3 loss on Friday dropped them to 1-6 under Hinch and 10 games under the .500 mark. Still, it would be nice to get Scherzer a win.

"This game has a funny way of balancing itself out," Hinch said. "He's put us in the position to win a lot this year, which is what his job is."

Pitching matchup
ARI: RHP Max Scherzer (0-3, 3.98 ERA)
Remarkably -- considering his pedigree (first-round pick in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft) and spectacular Major League debut -- Scherzer remains winless in 22 games and 13 starts. He is 0-7 in his short career despite a solid 3.39 ERA, making him just another hard-luck pitcher on the Arizona staff. In his last start, Sunday against the Nationals, he allowed three homers for the first time.

ATL: RHP Kenshin Kawakami (2-4, 5.79 ERA)
Kawakami has shown definite improvement over his past two starts, limiting the Mets and Phillies to two runs in each outing. While pitching six strong innings in Philadelphia on Sunday, the right-hander didn't allow a homer for the second successive start. While focusing on keeping his pitches low, Kawakami has limited some of the extra-base hits that were a problem during his first month in the Majors.

Tidbits
Tom Gordon played catch Friday. The reliever, trying to return from a strained left hamstring, collapsed during a bullpen session Wednesday when the hamstring grabbed on him again. "He really wants to get out there, so I think he's going to push it and continue to try and play catch," Hinch said. "He wants to be out on the field, he knows he can help this team." ... Conor Jackson did not accompany the team to Atlanta. Jackson was placed on the disabled list last week with what the team called a "general illness." Tests have so far been inconclusive. "He's feeling better," Hinch said. "He doesn't have a fever, he's getting his energy back. All the tests so far have been negative. I don't even know exactly the names of the things they are testing for." ... The D-backs signed infielder Abraham Nunez from the independent Newark Bears on Friday and assigned him to Triple-A Reno. ... The Padres claimed shortstop Josh Wilson off waivers. The D-backs had designated him for assignment last week.

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On the Internet
 MLB.TV
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•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

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On radio
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Up next
• Sunday: Diamondbacks (Jon Garland, 3-2, 5.18) at Braves (Derek Lowe, 5-1, 3.80), 10:30 a.m. MST
• Monday: Diamondbacks (Dan Haren, 3-4, 2.09) at Marlins (Ricky Nolasco, 2-4, 7.78), 4:10 p.m. MST
• Tuesday: Diamondbacks (Bryan Augenstein, 0-1, 7.11) at Marlins (Josh Johnson, 3-0, 2.50), 4:10 p.m. MST

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.