The Nationals’ Gulf Coast League team threw back-to-back no-hitters today

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Baseball started early for the Nationals’ and Marlins’ Gulf Coast League teams on Sunday, with the first pitch of the first game of a double-header getting thrown at 10:01 AM ET. It was the start of what would become back-to-back seven-inning no-hitters on the same day.

The Nats’ Joan Baez — not the singer — threw six shutout innings, yielding one walk and hitting one batter while striking out seven. Jose Jimenez pitched the seventh and worked around a walk for a scoreless frame to seal the no-no, a 4-0 victory.

The second game was a makeup of a game that was postponed on July 18. This time, the Nationals were the home team. Jared Johnson started, tossing four hitless innings on a walk and two strikeouts. Gilberto Chu worked the final three frames, keeping the Marlins hitless with no walks and four strikeouts. The Nats won 1-0.

Here are the box scores for Game 1 and Game 2.

A no-hitter in the Gulf Coast League doesn’t have the same weight as a no-hitter in the majors, even before considering the two fewer innings. Still, doing it in back-to-back games on the same day is pretty cool.

Clayton Kershaw could return on September 1

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Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw has been out since July 24 with a lower back strain. He’s slated to throw a three-inning simulated game in Pittsburgh on Monday, per Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register. Plunkett adds that if all goes well, the earliest Kershaw could return is August 31 against the Diamondbacks, but September 1 is more likely against the Padres.

Kershaw, 29, hit the disabled list on a pace to win his fourth Cy Young Award. He’s 15-2 with a 2.04 ERA and a 168/24 K/BB ratio in 141 1/3 innings.

The Dodgers have managed just fine without Kershaw. The club is 19-4 since July 24. At 87-35, the Dodgers own baseball’s best record, well ahead of the second-best Astros at 76-48.

Ian Kinsler was fined for ripping umpires publicly. Brad Ausmus says it’s the largest fine he’s seen in 25 years.

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Last week, Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler was ejected from a game against the Rangers after giving home plate umpire Angel Hernandez a look after a pitch was thrown outside for a ball. Kinsler was apparently unhappy with calls Hernandez had made earlier. Manager Brad Ausmus, too, was ejected.

After the game, Kinsler said that Hernandez “needs to find another job.” He added, “…he needs to stop ruining baseball games.”

Kinsler was fined by Major League Baseball for his remarks, Mlive’s Evan Woodbery reports. According to Ausmus, the fine levied on Kinsler was the largest one he’s seen in nearly 25 years in baseball. Kinsler said, “I said what I felt and what I thought. If they take offense to that, then that’s their problem.” Ausmus said, “To single out one player as a union is completely uncalled for.”

As Ashley noted on Saturday, the umpires wore white wristbands to protest “escalating attacks on umpires.” The umpires agreed to drop their protest on Sunday after commissioner Rob Manfred agreed to meet with the umpire union’s governing board, Gabe Lacques of USA TODAY Sports reports.