Nats hope rain stays away for opener with Twins

Mother nature gave the Washington Nationals an extra day of rest and the club will get back to work Friday in the opener of a three-game series versus the visiting Minnesota Twins.

Washington's finale of a three-game set with the New York Mets was postponed Thursday because of rain and the game will be made up July 26 in a doubleheader, which is slated to begin at 1:35 p.m. (ET).

The Nationals were trounced, 10-1, in Wednesday's contest and Dan Haren suffered the loss, as he allowed five runs and seven hits, including three home runs, in four innings of work.

"I laid another egg tonight," Haren said. "I have to be better."

Ian Desmond had the lone RBI for the Nationals, who have dropped five of their last seven games and are now third in the NL East standings behind Atlanta and Philadelphia.

In other team news, injured outfielder Bryce Harper (knee) will see noted sports surgeon Dr. James Andrews on Monday. Harper has been bothered by a case of bursitis in his left knee and will seek a second opinion with Andrews. The reigning National League Rookie of the Year is on the 15-day disabled list.

"I thought if he took some anti-inflammatory (medicine) it would calm it down, but it's kind of been lingering," Nats manager Davey Johnson told the club's website. "When he runs, it swells up. He was jogging in the pool, it swelled up from that. We're concerned, so we'll get another opinion on it."

Gio Gonzalez will take the mound for the Nationals Friday and has been linked to an MLB investigation about performance-enhancing drugs. Gonzalez, who is among the names involved in an anti-aging clinic in Miami, is 0-1 in his last five starts and hasn't won since May 5 at Pittsburgh.

The left-hander did not receive a decision in Saturday's 2-1 loss at Atlanta and pitched well, allowing one run and three hits in seven innings with seven strikeouts and one walk. Gonzalez is 3-3 in 12 starts to go along with a 3.64 earned run average and has made six career starts against Minnesota, going 2-3 with a less-than-stellar 7.80 ERA.

Minnesota just lost two of three meetings with the Kansas City Royals and is coming off Thursday's 7-3 setback at Kauffman Stadium. Lorenzo Cain highlighted a four-run eighth inning with a two-run homer for the Royals.

Jared Burton gave up all four runs in the decisive inning for the Twins, losers of two straight since winning seven of eight games. Mike Pelfrey started for the Twins and allowed three run s in 6 1/3 innings.

Ryan Doumit hit a two-run homer during a three-run first innings and the Twins failed to muster any offense after that. Joe Mauer went 0-for-4 and his seven- game hitting streak came to an end.

"Offensive we score early and then we really didn't do anything after that," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We had chances again with people out there. We're just not getting anyone in. We had some big hits in the first inning. Doumit had the big homer, but after that we went cold."

Minnesota, which is 5 1/2 games off the AL Central lead, will hand the ball to Kevin Correia Friday and he is 5-4 with a 4.09 ERA in 11 starts. The Twins have won each of Correia's last two starts, but the right-hander did not record a decision in Saturday's 5-4 win over Seattle, as he gave up four runs and eight hits in 6 2/3 innings.

Correia has made 13 appearances (6 starts) in his career against the Nationals and is 3-3 with a 3.33 ERA over 48 2/3 innings.

The Twins and Nationals are meeting for the first time since Minnesota swept a three-game series at home back in 2008. This will be the Twins' first trip to Nationals Park.