GCL Nationals toss back-to-back no-nos

Baez, Jimenez, Johnson, Chu deliver 14 hitless frames in sweep

Jared Johnson, Gilberto Chu, Jose Jimenez and Joan Baez deliver on a historic day. (Mike Janes/Four Seam Images)

By Tyler Maun / MiLB.com | July 23, 2017 5:39 PM

The Rookie-level Gulf Coast League Nationals must have felt such a high from their Sunday opening performance that they replicated it in the finale.

Four Washington prospects combined to pitch back-to-back no-hitters as the Nationals swept their twinbill from the Marlins, 4-0 and 1-0.

Washington's No. 21 prospect Joan Baez set the tone in Game 1. Working his way back from an undisclosed injury that landed him on the Class A Advanced Potomac disabled list on June 4, the right-hander faced just two batters over the minimum in six innings. Baez struck out seven, walked one batter and hit one with a pitch. His fourth GCL outing lowered his ERA at the level to 1.47 through 18 1/3 innings.

Game 1 box score

After Baez's departure, Jose Jimenez finished off the first no-no. The left-hander walked Cameron Baranek to lead off the bottom of the seventh, but got J.D. Osborne to hit into a double play before inducing Albert Guaimaro to fly out to right field to end the game.

Game 2 box score

Less than 30 minutes later, Jared Johnson started the second historic game. In his second start, the southpaw struck out two and walked one over four innings before giving way to Gilberto Chu. The lefty allowed just one baserunner, when Jan Mercado reached on a throwing error by shortstop Yasel Antuna, but was otherwise perfect. Chu struck out four without a walk, fanning Baranek and Guiamaro for the afternoon's final two outs.

The no-hitters were the first in the Gulf Coast League this year.

2017 Minor League milestones

Miami's No. 2 prospect Tyler Kolek got the start for the GCL Marlins in Sunday's opener and threw one inning. He walked two without a strikeout but didn't allow a hit. It was Kolek's second outing in his return from 2016 Tommy John surgery.

Tyler Maun is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @TylerMaun. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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