Royals release Mike Jacobs, John Bale

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Prior to this morning’s Rule 5 draft the Royals cleared a pair of 40-man roster spots by releasing Mike Jacobs and John Bale.
Kansas City gave up reliever Leo Nunez to get Jacobs from Florida last offseason and then paid him $3.3 million to hit .228/.297/.401 with terrible defense in 128 games. He certainly couldn’t have been expected to perform that horribly, but Jacobs came into the trade with a .318 career on-base percentage and his bad glove shouldn’t have surprised anyone. Nunez, incidentally, had a 4.06 ERA and 26 saves in 75 games for the Marlins while making $350,000.
Dayton Moore has made plenty of questionable moves in his relatively short time as Royals general manager, but the Jacobs acquisition ranks as one of the more obvious blunders. Releasing him one season after misguidedly touting him as some sort of offensive force reinforces that, although the move is better than the alternative of actually keeping him around for another year.

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.