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Rain brings postponement, starter shuffle for Nats

Split doubleheader planned for July 26; Gio shifted back to take mound on Friday

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals could have returned to .500 with a win over the Mets on Thursday, but they didn't get that chance. Thursday's game was postponed because of rain.

Nationals manager Davey Johnson said that he will push his starting rotation back one day. Thursday's starter, Gio Gonzalez, did not warm up and will instead start Friday against the Twins. Nathan Karns will start Saturday and Jordan Zimmermann will start Sunday.

The Nationals and Mets will make up the game on July 26. They will play a split doubleheader with the makeup game beginning at 1:35 p.m. ET before the regularly scheduled game at 7:05 p.m. The two games will require separate admission. Fans with tickets to Thursday night's game may exchange them for any remaining regular or value home game during the 2013 season.

The postponement is actually a reprieve for the Nationals, who would otherwise have had to call up a Saturday starter from Triple-A Syracuse.

"With the number of guys we have on the DL, this is a welcome call," Johnson said. "And then not having to add somebody else, another starter, and then we've got an off-day on Monday. So we would have just really made a bunch of guys move around. This is much better. So I'm happy about it."

The Nationals made news before the rain delay by announcing that outfielder Bryce Harper will see renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews on Monday. The bursitis in Harper's left knee has not improved as expected, so the Nationals want the reigning National League Rookie of the Year to see Andrews for a second opinion.

Tom Schad is an associate reporter for
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