- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 15, 2009

WASHINGTON (AP) - Manny Acta wasn’t pleased to hear his winless Nationals’ game against the Philadelphia Phillies was rained out Wednesday.

“This is a situation where we’d rather be on the field every day to get this (losing streak) over with,” Acta said.

Steady rain postponed the game, leaving Washington pondering a skid that matches the franchise’s worst-ever start, when the team was the Montreal Expos in 1998.

No makeup date was immediately announced. There’s also no word if _ or when _ the teams will don the No. 42 jerseys that are being worn throughout Major League Baseball on Wednesday to mark the day Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers.

When the teams play the series finale at 7:05 p.m. Thursday, the Phillies will be sporting a new addition to their uniforms _ a circular patch above the star dotting the “i” in Phillies to commemorate longtime broadcaster Harry Kalas, who died Monday.

Kalas, who had called Phillies games since 1971, will be remembered with his initials, which are stitched in white on the black patch.

“I think that’s great,” said Phillies manager Charlie Manuel. “I think for us to wear it all season, it’s definitely an honor for him and it shows our appreciation, how much we like him. I think (players) really liked Harry. They probably liked him more than we’ll ever know, really.”

The pitching matchup that was supposed to occur Wednesday will now take place Thursday, as both teams push their rotations back a day. Phillies right-hander Joe Blanton will be opposed by Washington right-hander Shairon Martis.

“It’s something that’s out of my control, so I don’t worry about it,” said Martis, who is 0-0 with a 9.00 ERA. “We’ve got to stop this losing streak, so we’ll go out there tomorrow and try to do something to do that.”

Blanton, 0-0 with a 15.75 ERA, is eager to erase the memory of his first 2009 start. He allowed seven runs on seven hits and walked one, but got a no-decision in a 12-11 Phillies victory against Atlanta on April 8.

The postponement will give injured Nationals shortstop Cristian Guzman an extra day to heal his sore left hamstring. Guzman left Monday’s home opener in the ninth inning after injuring himself stepping out of the batter’s box on his fifth hit.

Guzman is leading the Nationals with a .515 (17-for-33) average.

“We worked (Guzman) out earlier, had him run on the treadmill and he looks good. He feels that in two days, he should be able to play. That’s good news,” Acta said.

Earlier Wednesday, the Nationals recalled outfielder Roger Bernadina from Triple-A Syracuse to fill the spot created when outfielder Lastings Milledge was sent to Syracuse on Tuesday. Milledge was hitting .167 with no extra-base hits, one RBI, one walk and 10 strikeouts as Washington’s leadoff hitter.

“He’s a guy we can put at any of those three outfield (positions) who will give us a better-than-average defensive player,” Acta said of Bernadina. “I think he earned this.”

Notes@: Until Guzman can play, 2B Anderson Hernandez will be the Nationals’ leadoff hitter, Acta said. Once he is healthy, Guzman will be atop the lineup. … Phillies C Lou Marson, who was recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley on April 11 when C Carlos Ruiz went on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right ribcage muscle, was scheduled to make his first start of the season Wednesday. … To create a spot for Bernadina on the 40-man roster, Washington sent OF Leonard Davis outright to Double-A Harrisburg. … The rainout will push back the major league debut of RHP Jordan Zimmermann, Washington’s prized pitching prospect, to Monday when the Nationals open a three-game series against Atlanta.

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