Link-O-Rama: Sheffield wants to play in 2010

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* Gary Sheffield wants to play next season and has shown that he’s still a productive hitter, but the market for a 41-year-old, oft-injured, should-be platoon designated hitter doesn’t figure to be especially strong.
* Cecil Cooper took the fall for the Astros’ disappointing season, but as Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle points out the general manager who built a 70-80 team with a $107 million payroll also deserves plenty of blame.
* Edwin Jackson’s recent struggles have some people suggesting that he’s been tipping pitches, but a career-high workload for a pitcher who came into this season with a 5.15 lifetime ERA is probably an overlooked theory.
* Adam LaRoche has hit .350 with 12 homers in 45 games since returning to Atlanta and Chipper Jones wants the Braves to re-sign the impending free agent. LaRoche has played for three teams this season, so naturally he’s looking for a multi-year deal.
* The man who once traded Pedro Martinez for Delino DeShields writes about the mistake that Billy Beane made trading Andre Ethier for Milton Bradley.
* Yovani Gallardo is now officially the Brewers’ ace.

Sean Manaea pitches 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.