MILWAUKEE -- Twins right-hander Nick Blackburn's next start has been pushed back to Saturday due to some soreness he's been experiencing in the back of his right elbow.

Blackburn was in line to start Tuesday against the Nationals. But instead, the Twins decided to use Monday's off-day to shift the starter to the back end of the rotation.

"We just wanted to give him a couple extra days," manager Ron Gardenhire said.

Blackburn said that he first felt soreness in the back of his elbow against the Yankees on June 1, the start in which he was struck in the face by a line drive.

Since then, Blackburn has been able to make his next two starts without any problem. But the Twins felt now was a good time to use the extra day to their advantage.

"It's just like any other aching that goes on usually during the season," Blackburn said. "We were able to keep it under control and not have to miss any starts. It's not really a big deal, but they just want to take advantage of this off-day."

Blackburn didn't seem at all concerned about whether it might affect him in his future starts. He threw a bullpen session on Sunday and said he had no problems.

"It felt better than it has in awhile," Blackburn said. "It's actually not a big concern now."

Livan Hernandez will now be moved up to start on Tuesday against Washington, with Kevin Slowey pitching on Wednesday, Glen Perkins on Thursday and Scott Baker on Friday. Blackburn's next start will then come on Saturday against the Diamondbacks at the Metrodome.