Denard Span scratched with back stiffness; Gio Gonzalez to start Wednesday

Denard Span was scratched about 45 minutes before first pitch Sunday with back stiffness that both the outfielder and Manager Matt Williams consider minor. Span said he couldn’t get his back loose before the game but expects to be ready to play Tuesday.

He “came in and hit in the cage and felt it a little bit,” Williams said. “Don’t want to push that. He’s played a lot. He should be ready to go Tuesday.”

Span has played the past 50 straight games and giving him Sunday, coupled with Monday’s offday, allows him to rest two days. Span is hitting .262 but is in the midst of an 0 for 19 skid. Nate McLouth started in center field on Sunday instead and went 1 for 4.

“It’s not serious,” Williams said of Span’s back stiffness. “It’s a situation like that we don’t want to make is serious.”

>>> Gio Gonzalez will be activated from the disabled list and start Wednesday’s game against the Houston Astros, Williams said. With Monday’s offday, Gonzalez or Tanner Roark could have started Tuesday’s game. By starting Roark on Tuesday and Gonzalez on Wednesday, both will have six days in between starts.

Gonzalez has been on the disabled list since May 18 with left shoulder inflammation. He made two rehab starts at Class A Potomac.

James Wagner joined the Post in August 2010 and, prior to covering the Nationals, covered high school sports across the region.
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