One night after Yunesky Maya struggled through 4 2/3 innings, allowing six runs on nine hits, the Nationals sent him back to the minors.
Maya was optioned to Triple-A Syracuse on Wednesday afternoon, with the team calling up reliever Collin Balester in his place. Manager Jim Riggleman also said left-hander Tom Gorzelanny will pitch for the team on Sunday, coming off the disabled list to take what would have been Maya's spot on the roster.
It's not a big surprise that Maya is heading back to the minors, since Gorzelanny was likely to come off the disabled list in time to start for the team on Sunday. But Maya, once again, failed to make a lasting impression in the majors. He had a 6.86 ERA in four starts.
Gorzelanny will pitch on an extra day's rest, Riggleman said. He'll have a heavy bullpen session or a pair of light ones before Sunday.