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Nationals-Braves series opener washed out

Nationals-Braves series opener washed out

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Nationals-Braves series opener washed out
WASHINGTON -- The Nationals were eager to play at home following a nine-game road trip, but Mother Nature had other intentions as Friday night's game versus the Braves at Nationals Park was postponed due to rain. No makeup date has been announced.

Washington right-hander Stephen Strasburg was scheduled to take the mound, while Mike Minor was pegged for the Braves. Manager Davey Johnson said the rotation will be bumped back one day. Strasburg will pitch Saturday, followed by Gio Gonzalez on Sunday.

The Braves will skip Minor's start, with Brandon Beachy getting the nod Saturday. Tommy Hanson will take the mound for Atlanta on Sunday.

After winning five of nine against the Phillies, Braves and Marlins, the Nationals entered Friday's play with a half-game lead over the Marlins in the National League East. Outfielder Michael Morse, out since Spring Training with a strained back muscle, was activated off of the disabled list and slated to bat fourth.

Morse's return will bolster the Nats' outfield depth, as he supplements Bryce Harper, Xavier Nady, Rick Ankiel and Roger Bernandina. Hot-hitting Steven Lombardozzi has also spent time in left field recently, while Corey Brown was optioned to Triple-A Syracuse to make room for Morse.

Catcher Jesus Flores was set to bat eighth after missing the past three games with a mild hamstring strain.

Mike Fiammetta is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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