Karns wouldn't let rain delay deter his focus in debut

The best news of Nathan Karns' young career got even better following his major league debut.

After tossing 4 1/3 innings in which he scattered five hits and allowed the hot-hitting Orioles attack only three runs, Karns found out he will get another start for the Nationals on Sunday in Atlanta.

"I got the first one out of the way," Karns said. "I am just going to go back to work tomorrow. And do what I do to get back to my next start and go from there."

His first major league start was delayed by 1 hour, 21 minutes due to rain. Karns' teammates joked with him about having to sit and wait for a chance to pitch, but Karns did not let it bother him.

"I think I told them I have waited 25 years, an hour or so won't be too much more," Karns said.

When he finally got out there and faced his first batter, Orioles left fielder Nate McLouth, Karns could feel the butterflies.

"Everyone is going to be nervous before their first start," Karns said. "I was really anxious. I hate sitting around waiting for my turn. With the rain delay, it kind of built up a little more. But once I got out there and started going, and got that first inning through, it felt great."

Karns said his infield teammates, like Ian Desmond and Adam LaRoche, worked with him during some rough patches, and that allowed him to catch his breath.

"It was really great," Karns said. "Especially when I was in trouble out there, they came up to me and talked to me, (saying) 'Slow down, find your rhythm. This game is going to be on your pace, no one can change that'. It was very reassuring and comforting to know those guys were back there pulling for me when I was struggling."

"He has got composure," catcher Kurt Suzuki said of Karns. "He knows what he has to do to get guys out. Not trying to do too much."

Karns gave up a pair of home runs, but only three other hits, and did not factor into a decision. But he kept the Nationals in the game. And due to Ross Detwiler's lingering injury, he now gets a chance to pitch in Atlanta.

It seems now like Karns' 2010 shoulder surgery was a long time ago. He fought his way all the way back to become the organization's pitcher of the year last season. Now he gets a second start in the bigs.

"It has been a long road," Karns said. I am just glad after surgery that the Nats stuck with me and really supported me from the time I was drafted to now. I just glad I was able to reward them for all their hard work and their dedication to me."

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