Ross Detwiler turned in his most promising start since February hip surgery, allowing five hits over seven innings in Double-A Harrisburg's 2-0 win over New Britain on Wednesday afternoon.
Detwiler (2-2), who missed three months after surgery to repair a labral tear in his right hip, struck out seven and walked one en route to his second win in seven starts at Harrisburg. The Nationals prospect has allowed three earned runs or fewer in all of his outings with the Senators this season.
The lefty-hander appeared in 15 games with Washington in 2009 after making his Major League debut in September 2007. He was due to compete for a spot in the Nationals' rotation this spring before pain in his hip led to surgery. The road to recovery has been gradually progressing for the 24-year-old -- he began throwing batting practice at the team's Spring Training complex in Viera, Fla., in mid-May, threw a bullpen session at Nationals Park on June 6 and was activated from the 60-day disabled list on June 21 before being optioned to Harrisburg.
"He's going to need a little bit more time in the Minor Leagues," Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said last month.
It appears Detwiler is getting closer to a return, though -- Chien-Ming Wang, Jordan Zimmermann and Detwiler may all get a crack at joining a Nationals staff led by fellow first-rounder Stephen Strasburg.
Detwiler faced 27 batters on Wednesday, inducing six groundouts and five fly balls for his second win in his last three starts. It also marked his longest appearance of the season after being limited to about four frames in most of his previous outings.
Marvin Lowrance's two-run homer with no outs in the second just cleared the right-field fence, knocking in Jesus Valdez. Harrisburg (49-49) won its fourth straight and finished 5-2 on its homestand; it's the first time the Senators have reached .500 since they were 28-28 on June 5.
Jack Spradlin, Rafael Martin and Cole Kimball pieced together the final two frames to seal the win.
New Britain's Mike McCardell went 5 2/3 innings and fell to 0-11. The former sixth-round pick has not won since Sept. 6, 2009.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.