Doug Fister to return to Nationals’ rotation Thursday

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Nationals right-hander Doug Fister has been on the disabled list since mid-May with a flexor strain in his right elbow, but he tossed six scoreless innings in his second rehab start Friday at Double-A Harrisburg and he made it through a bullpen session Tuesday without issue. The next time he pitches, per Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post, will be Thursday in the Nationals’ series finale against the Rays.

Fister had an ugly-looking 4.31 ERA and 1.41 WHIP over his first seven starts this season, but he was likely pitching hurt in his last outing on May 14, when the Padres torched him for seven runs in two innings.

The 31-year-old posted a 2.41 ERA and 1.079 WHIP in 164 innings last season for Washington.

Donaldson ejected for kicking dirt on plate after home run

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Minnesota’s Josh Donaldson managed to get ejected while hitting a home run.

Donaldson barked at plate umpire Dan Bellino for the second time in the sixth inning of a 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.

With the score 2-2, Bellino called a strike when the 2015 AL MVP checked his swing on a 2-0 pitch from Reynaldo Lopez.

Manager Rocco Baldelli came out to speak with Bellino, and Donaldson homered down the left-field line on the next offering. After rounding the bases, Donaldson kicked dirt at home plate as he crossed it.

Bellino ejected him immediately, and Donaldson, realizing he had missed home plate, returned to the plate to touch it and then argued as he kicked more dirt on it.

Donaldson also had argued with Bellino on a 1-1 breaking ball in the first inning that appeared to be high but was called a strike, leading to a strikeout.

“We need Josh on the field, out there playing, and at third base,” Baldelli said. “That’s when we’re at our best. And so that’s really the end of it. I think we can move past it at his point, and go from here.”

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