Poor Blackburn: Twins trot out awful outfield D

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Denard Span is away from the team to have his recent dizziness examined
and Carlos Gomez is in manager Ron Gardenhire’s doghouse, so the Twins
are trotting out perhaps the worst defensive outfield that I’ve ever
seen for this afternoon’s game against the A’s.

Michael Cuddyer is making his second career start in center field
after spending the past four seasons displaying below-average range in
right field. Jason Kubel is replacing Cuddyer in right field after
spending most of the past three seasons at designated hitter because of
his bad range and worse knees. And Delmon Young is in left field, where
he’s posted the worst Ultimate Zone Rating in baseball since the
beginning of last year.

If there’s been a worse defensive starting outfield during this
decade that didn’t involve someone literally dying on the field, I’d
love to hear about it. In the meantime, I’ll be saying a prayer for
Twins starter Nick Blackburn.

Sean Manaea pitches the first no-hitter of 2018

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Athletics southpaw Sean Manaea delivered his first career no-hitter against the Red Sox in a decisive 3-0 victory on Saturday night. Any thought of a perfect game was banished in the first at-bat, when Mookie Betts drew a leadoff six-pitch walk to open the first inning. From there, Manaea was nearly flawless, holding the Sox to four total baserunners and striking out 10 of 30 batters faced — a career record.

Manaea was gifted a three-run lead thanks to RBI doubles from Jed Lowrie and Stephen Piscotty and Marcus Semien‘s solo shot off of Chris Sale in the fifth inning. While the Red Sox managed to draw two walks off of Manaea, they didn’t come anywhere close to plating a run. Andrew Benintendi tried to break up the no-no in the sixth inning with an infield hit down the first base line, but strayed out of bounds and later saw his hit reversed on a call of batter interference.

Entering the ninth inning, the 26-year-old lefty was sitting at just 95 pitches through eight frames of no-hit ball. He quickly deposed Blake Swihart and Mookie Betts with a groundout and fly out, then walked Benintendi on seven pitches. Any threat the Red Sox might have posed was soon eliminated, however, as Hanley Ramirez ground into a force out to complete the no-hitter.

Manaea is the first A’s pitcher to toss a no-no since Dallas Braden’s perfect game against the Rays eight years ago. The last time the Red Sox were on the losing end of a no-hitter was also against an AL West rival, when the Mariners’ Chris Bosio clinched a 2-0 no-no on April 22, 1993. Manaea’s feat is even more outstanding given how dominant the Red Sox have looked this season: prior to Saturday’s defeat, they boasted a 17-2 record and had yet to be shut out during the regular season.