The Rangers love, miss Kevin Millwood

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MLB.com’s Britt Ghiroli picked up on something adorable down in spring training this weekend.  According to several Rangers, 23-year-old right-hander Tommy Hunter included, veteran starter Kevin Millwood is sorely missed in the Texas clubhouse.

“I miss him,” Hunter said Saturday. “I’m not going to lie, I miss him. I might give him a
call this afternoon and see how he’s doing. He’s not good at returning
calls. He might be on the golf course. If he is, you know he’s not going
to return calls.”

Whether the Rangers will miss his presence on the mound is a different matter.  Millwood, 35, posted a 3.67 ERA and 1.34 WHIP last season while compiling a 13-10 record, but he wasn’t all that great after the All-Star break and was sidelined for a few weeks with a left gluteus injury.  The Rangers have a bevy of young starters, thus Millwood was dealt to Baltimore this winter for reliever Chris Ray and a Rule-5 Draft pick.

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.