Quick hits: Pujols powers Cards past Twins

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– The Pirates are reportedly mulling a trade that would send Nyjer Morgan to the Nationals. According to the Pittsburgh-Post Gazette
the teams were discussing a Morgan for Lastings Milledge swap, but the
Nationals balked when the Pirates insisted on including Craig Stammen
in the deal. The Nats apparently covet Morgan as a potential leadoff
man.

– Albert Pujols launched two home runs
in a win over the Twins on Saturday afternoon. El Hombre leads the
world with 28 home runs and 74 RBI. He’s currently on pace for 60 bombs
and 159 RBI.

– J.C. Romero could be in some hot water. He was accused of assaulting a fan who claims he was grabbed by the neck and pushed after asking “How about you get me some juice?” Romero apparently took umbrage to the request.

– J.A. Happ tossed his first career complete game shutout in a win over the Blue Jays on Saturday. Even in 97 career minor league starts, Happ never tossed a shutout.

– Jose Reyes jogged and took batting practice before Saturday’s game, but there’s still no timetable on his return. The Mets leadoff man has been on the disabled list since May 26 because of a right hamstring injury.

– And finally, Roy Halladay is primed for a Monday return
against the Rays. Halladay is 10-1 with a 2.53 ERA and 1.04 WHIP, but
has been on the disabled list since June 18 because of a groin strain.

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.