Rays get Shoppach from Indians for PTBN

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shoppach headshot.jpgIndians catcher Kelly Shoppach won’t be non-tendered after all, as the Rays have picked up the strikeout-prone 29-year-old in return for a player to be named.
The Indians were ready to move on from Shoppach because of his likely $2.5 million salary in 2010 and their surplus of catching, which includes Lou Marson, Wyatt Toregas, Chris Gimenez and No. 1 prospect Carlos Santana. Shoppach, who broke through with 21 homers and an 865 OPS in 2008, hit .214/.335/.399 in 271 at-bats last season.
It looked like the Rays wanted to re-sign Gregg Zaun to pair with incumbent Dioner Navarro, but they’re trying a different tact now. One wonders if this will lead to a move to non-tender Navarro. The Rays aren’t really in a position to pay a backup catcher as much as Shoppach will make next year. Navarro earned $2.1 million last season, and while he had an awful year, players in arbitration very rarely are forced to take paycuts. If the Rays continue talks with Zaun after this, it will provide a strong indication that Navarro is a goner.

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.