A cancelled flight will give the Brewers a one-day reprieve from having to face Washington ace Gio Gonzalez, who made quick work of the Milwaukee lineup on the road June 23. Instead, the Brewers will try to pick up a series win against Tanner Roark on Saturday night.
Gonzalez's flight back to Washington after the All-Star break was canceled on Thursday, preventing him from throwing his normal bullpen session. Nationals manager Matt Williams bumped him back a day as a precaution.
"[Gonzalez] could have pitched [Saturday] without throwing a bullpen, but we don't want to do that," Williams said. "We want to make sure."
Roark will be looking for a strong start to the second half of his first season as a starter; in the first half, he was 8-6 with a 3.01 ERA. Roark pitched well in his last start, rebounding from two straight losses to the Cubs with seven innings of one-run ball against the Phillies.
"I'm pitching with confidence, and I really didn't try to nibble," Roark said after the start "The changeup was working today. That helped me get out of a jam a couple of times. The changeup was the biggest thing as far as getting ahead."
Making his first career start against Milwaukee, Roark will face Matt Garza, who produced a 6-6 record in an inconsistent first half, but gained steam as the half drew to a close. Eight of his last nine starts have been quality starts, and he took no-hitters deep into his last two starts. In a complete game two-hitter on July 5, the first Reds hit came in the sixth; on July 10, the Phillies didn't tally a hit until the seventh.
The Brewers are still in first place despite stumbling into the break with losses in 11 of their last 12, and they'll look to Garza to keep the momentum they established with a 4-2 win to open the second half on Friday.
Brewers: Deadline passes with no new Brewers signings
The Brewers closed the book on their 2014 First-Year Player Draft class with no additional signings ahead of a Friday evening deadline.
So the Brewers signed 26 drafted players in all, plus one undrafted player. Each of the team's first 16 selections came to terms.
"Bruce [Seid, Milwaukee's amateur scouting director] had a couple guys, last-minute, he was talking to," general manager Doug Melvin said. "We didn't think we were going to get them signed. They were later Draft picks."
The Brewers' top unsigned pick was Canadian prep left-hander Ben Onyshko, who was drafted in the 16th round.
Nationals: Zimmermann likely to avoid DL stint
Nationals right-hander Jordan Zimmermann will not go on the disabled list after sustaining a right biceps strain last Friday against the Phillies. The All-Star break allowed Zimmermann to rest his arm, and he was able to long toss with the Nats on Thursday.
The next order of business for Zimmermann will be to have a bullpen session Saturday at Nationals Park. If the session goes well, Zimmermann will likely pitch Tuesday against the Rockies in Colorado.
"I felt all along [the arm] was going to be fine. I knew the break would help. I was able to put some meds in me," Zimmermann said. "I came back [Thursday], and I threw 100 feet and I felt fine. I knew I wasn't going on the DL. It wasn't bad. I needed some rest. I got what I needed and, hopefully, be good to go for the rest of the year."
Zimmermann was replaced on the 2014 National League All-Star Game roster as a result of the biceps injury.
• Garza is 0-2 with a 5.74 ERA in five career starts against Washington.
• The Brewers are 41-5 in games they lead after seven innings.
• The Nationals lead the National League with 24 home runs from the bottom third of their lineup; Milwaukee is tied for second with 22.
Caitlin Swieca is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.