Gio Gonzalez set to make next start

Washington Nationals starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez walks back to the dugout after being taken out during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Wednesday, April 23, 2014 in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

The Nationals expect Gio Gonzalez to make his next start Tuesday in Houston as scheduled after he exited Wednesday night in the sixth inning with stiffness in his left shoulder, Manager Matt Williams said.

Gonzalez played catch and took batting practice Friday and felt “fine,” Williams said. “We anticipate him being okay.”

The Nationals have Monday off, which will allow Gonzalez an extra day to rest his shoulder. He will be able to push his usual between-starts bullpen session back to tomorrow, Williams said.

Williams had planned on keeping the Nationals’ rotation intact and using the off day to give his starters a bonus day of rest. Williams could have skipped Taylor Jordan, who will carry a 6.23 ERA into his start Sunday, on the Nationals’ coming road trip to Houston and Philadelphia. But he plans on sticking with the Nationals’ current five on five days of rest.

“I’d like to give everybody an extra day,” Williams said. “After the first month, the way the schedule falls for us, it’s pretty beneficial to give them that extra day.”

The Nationals are hoping for more good news in their rotation Sunday. Right-hander Doug Fister, who started the year on the disabled list with a lat strain he suffered at the end of spring training, will pitch in a rehab start at Class A Potomac. He is scheduled to pitch four innings. He will likely make his Washington debut in less than two weeks.

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