BOSTON -- Left-hander Tom Gorzelanny has been one of the Nationals' most reliable relievers. In his last 10 games, Gorzelanny has allowed three runs in 17 2/3 innings, with 19 strikeouts.

He started the season as a long man, but he has seen his share of time in the late innings.

"I try to go out there and just try to do my job as best as I can," Gorzelanny said. "... Not knowing how long I'm going to be out there helps me focus on one guy at a time. It could be my last guy that I face that day. ... I want to be an important piece of the bullpen, going in there in big situations and help us secure a victory."

  • 142 wins
  • 110 wins

Gorzelanny started his career as a starter but was placed in the bullpen by manager Davey Johnson in late July of last year. At first, Johnson acknowledged that he wanted to "baby" Gorzelanny as he adjusted to his new role. Then, the two had a talk.

According to Johnson, Gorzelanny said, 'Look, Skip, I'm a reliever. Use me as one."

Johnson has used him, and it has paid off. Entering Friday's Interleague action against the Red Sox, Gorzelanny has a 2.96 ERA in 32 relief appearances.

"Gorzo was great last year after he moved to the bullpen, and he has been a mainstay out there," Johnson said. "He has been unbelievable. He has been outstanding. He has helped us a lot. I told him I was going to keep leaning on him."

Lidge to pitch as setup man in return to Nats

BOSTON -- Manager Davey Johnson said reliever Brad Lidge will most likely become a setup man, while Sean Burnett and Tyler Clippard continue to split the closer's role.

The Nationals activated Lidge from the disabled list on Thursday after two rehab games, during which he was recovering from a sports hernia.

"I think he is fine, and I feel comfortable however I use him," Johnson said. "I'll probably keep him more on the [back end] of the bullpen."

Marrero moves on to Class A Potomac in rehab

BOSTON -- Nationals first baseman Chris Marrero started a rehab assignment with Class A Potomac on Friday. He was set to start Game 1 of a doubleheader against the Salem Red Sox.

On Thursday, Marrero went 1-for-3 with a double starting as the designated hitter for Class A Hagerstown. Marrero is currently on the 60-day disabled list with a torn hamstring, which he suffered during winter ball as he attempted to stretch for a ball at first base.

It's not known when Marrero will be with the big league team. Last year, Marrero played in 31 games for the Nationals and hit .248 with 10 RBIs.

Worth noting

• Manager Davey Johnson announced that infielder Mark DeRosa will not be going on a rehab assignment with Class A Potomac because he is with his father, Jack, who has cancer.

"I know his father is very ill. He is at his bedside," Johnson said. "He was going to Potomac. But with the situation with his father, he is there with him."

• Reliever Ryan Matthues threw in a simulated game on Friday and didn't have any pain in his left foot. He will participate in pitchers' fielding practice on Saturday and pitch in another simulated game the next day.

Matthues is on the disabled list because of a plantar fascia strain.