Quick hits: A-Rod is a centaur and other items of note

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– Poor Alex Rodriguez. The usual (and unusual) suspects are already piling on after his punchless start
to the World Series. From the unusual department, on Friday we learned
that
he supposedly has two paintings depicting himself as a centaur above his bed.



– Orioles international scouting
director John Stockstill met with Cuban left-hander Aroldis Chapman in New York on Friday,
joining a host of teams who have acknowledged interest in the 21-year-old fireballer. Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun, who saw the Orioles balk on Dominican shortstop Miguel Angel Sano, has a hard time believing that the Orioles will “pony up.



– On the heels of Matthew Pouliot’s analysis of Andy Pettitte’s Hall of Fame chances on Friday, Tommy Bennett of Beyond the Boxscore concludes that the veteran left-hander is “slightly above average.”



– Bill Baer of Crashburn Alley previews Saturday’s pitching matchup
between Pettitte and Cole Hamels, reminding us that “Hamels has been
much better than his statistics have shown and Pettitte has been
slightly better.”




– And finally, don’t forget to play “What Yankee Megastar Are You?”

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.