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Gio's canceled flight forces rotation changes

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WASHINGTON -- Manager Matt Williams was forced to make changes to his starting rotation coming out of the All-Star Break after Gio Gonzalez missed the Nationals' workout Thursday night because of a cancelled flight.

Gonzalez, who was scheduled to start Saturday's game against the Brewers, was en route to Washington from Miami when one of his connecting flights was canceled because of mechanical issues. As a result, the left-hander couldn't throw his bullpen on Thursday, and instead threw it on Friday afternoon.

Originally, Williams announced his rotation would feature Gonzalez on Saturday and Doug Fister on Sunday. But after the minor travel hiccup, Tanner Roark is now slated for Saturday while Gonzalez will be pushed back to Sunday. Fister will move to Monday before Jordan Zimmermann returns to the mound on Tuesday, pending no setbacks regarding his biceps injury.

"[Gonzalez] could have pitched [Saturday] without throwing a bullpen, but we don't want to do that," Williams said. "We want to make sure."

Fister, who last pitched on July 9, was also a possibility to start Saturday in place of Gonzalez, but Williams said he wanted to give the right-hander a couple extra days of rest.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He can also be found on Twitter @WashingNats. Daniel Popper is an associate reporter for MLB.com. He also can be found on Twitter @danielrpopper. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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