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Rainout vs Nationals cools off streaking Orioles, who get unwanted day off

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WASHINGTON - The Baltimore Orioles and right-hander Bud Norris were forced to put their hot streaks on hold after rain postponed their game against the Washington Nationals on Tuesday night.

Norris was activated from the 15-day disabled list hours before the game was called following a delay of 2 hours, 30 minutes. It will be made up on Aug. 4, previously an off day for both teams.

To make room for Norris on the roster, the Orioles designated reliever Julio DePaula for assignment.

Sidelined by a strained groin, Norris hasn't pitched since June 21. Before that, however, the right-hander won four straight starts, matching his career high. He will bring a 7-5 record and a 3.62 ERA into Wednesday night's game against the Nationals at Camden Yards.

After winning the opener of the home-and-home series between crosstown rivals, the Orioles opened a three-game lead in the AL East. That gave them seven wins in eight games and left them a season-high nine games over .500 at 49-40.

"Really, the last couple weeks there have been times when you've seen what it looks like when we click on all cylinders, when we pitch well, play defence, hit the ball well," said first baseman Chris Davis, whose 14th home run sparked a six-run 11th inning Monday night.

The rainout shifted the Baltimore rotation. Norris will pitch Wednesday instead of Wei-Yin Chen, who was moved back to Thursday.

Washington also shuffled its rotation. Doug Fister, who was slated to start Tuesday, was shoved back to Wednesday. Gio Gonzalez will start Thursday, and Tanner Roark, who was slated to start Wednesday, was temporarily moved to the bullpen. Williams said Roark should start Sunday, the final day before the All-Star break.

The tarp came on the field before the scheduled 7:05 starting time and well before any rain hit the area. But once the rain started, it came down hard and steady for hours.

Nationals manager Matt Williams said talk of a day-night doubleheader Wednesday in Washington, then Baltimore, was never discussed.

"Didn't the Mets and Yankees do it at one point?" he asked. "I would imagine that it was about the same amount of time to get across New York City that would take for us to get to Baltimore, but no, we had a mutual off day on the 4th of August so we'll determine what time that game is. Since there was a mutual off day we didn't go that far."

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