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WSH@FLA: Gorzelanny hurls seven strong frames

It will be deja vu for both Tom Gorzelanny and Chris Volstad on Friday, when the Nationals host the Marlins at Nationals Park.

Pitching against each other last Saturday in Miami, Washington's Gorzelanny got the win, going seven innings and surrendering just two runs on two hits, while Florida's Volstad took the loss, throwing six innings and giving up three runs on eight hits.

Gorzelanny will face the Marlins twice in one week after having not faced them since May 2007. On Saturday, in addition to giving up two hits and two runs, the lefty struck out six and walked four to even his record at 2-2 with a 2.87 ERA.

"He was using both sides of the plate," Marlins catcher John Buck said after the game. "He had a good slider and changeup going. He pitched backward when he had to."

Struggling with his command early on Saturday, Volstad threw 27 pitches before recording an out in a 35-pitch first inning. During that stretch, the Nationals hit four consecutive singles and plated two runs.

The right-hander surrendered only one run after that but still took the loss, giving up the three runs on eight hits, walking one and striking out five to move to 2-2 with a 5.73 ERA.

"Falling behind in the count to the first four guys put me in a bad situation," Volstad said afterward. "I limited it to two [runs]. It could have been a lot worse, I think. But I just settled down after that."

Marlins pitching coach Randy St. Claire believes that Volstad has to throw first-pitch strikes and limit his mistakes to get the win this time around.

"He started pounding the strike zone, and the game changed," St. Claire said. "That first inning could have easily been a four-, five-run inning, and we could have been out of the ballgame. But he kept it right there and had a nice quality start. I was happy with his delivery. The changes we've been working on, he carried them into the game. It was nice to see. He threw a lot of good pitches. That was a good game to build on."

Nationals: Gaudin's return to relief corps uncertain
Though right-handed reliever Chad Gaudin was eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday, his status hasn't changed since he went on the DL on April 27 with inflammation in his shoulder. He didn't travel with the team on its current road trip, which ended in Atlanta on Thursday.

"He's just got that general wear-and-tear soreness that doesn't appear [as though] it's going to be anything extremely significant," manager Jim Riggleman said. "But he needs to go pitch some rehab assignments before we see him."

• As rookie Wilson Ramos and the veteran Pudge Rodriguez continue to split time behind the plate, Riggleman plans to give the former more playing time. Starting his second straight game on Wednesday night against the Braves, Ramos went 1-for-5 with a double, a run and a walk. He's batting .295 with two homers and seven RBIs in 24 games this season. Rodriguez started on Thursday and homered.

"Even though Pudge is playing very well, I feel like [in order] to develop Ramos along, I have to play him more than every other day," Riggleman said.

Marlins: Mujica set to rejoin bullpen
Reliever Edward Mujica (strained left knee) is expected to rejoin the bullpen on Friday, but because he wasn't available on Wednesday for the series finale against the Phillies, Florida recalled right-hander Steve Cishek from Triple-A New Orleans before sending him back down after the game. In 11 appearances with the Zephyrs, Cishek went 1-1 with a 2.00 ERA in 18 innings.

Mujica tweaked the knee on Monday while sprinting off the mound in an attempt to cover first base in the seventh inning.

"It didn't bother me in my delivery," Mujica said. "Let's see how it is for me after some running."

• The Marlins had an open roster spot for Cishek after Javier Vazquez was put on the Bereavement List due to a death in his family. The right-hander is expected to return on Friday.

Worth noting
• Washington's Ian Desmond is 11-for-18 against Volstad in his career, including three doubles, one triple and one home run.

• Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth has gone 2-for-24 (.083 average) against Volstad, with seven strikeouts. Comments