Denard Span undergoes MRI exam on injured shoulder

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Denard Span underwent an MRI exam today after hurting his shoulder while trying to make a diving catch last week and revealed that he initially injured the shoulder way back in June.
Normally that might explain why Span’s production has dropped off so much this season. After all, he’s hitting just .267 with a .680 OPS in 87 games since the initial injury. Of course, he hit a nearly identical .264 with a .698 OPS in 57 games before the injury, so that’s a tougher case to make.
After sitting out a few days last week Span was able to play in each of the Twins’ past three games, and indicated to Phil Mackey of 1500ESPN.com that he doesn’t expect to miss much time down the stretch. Fortunately for the Twins clinching the AL Central title with two weeks to go provides plenty of leeway to rest guys like Span and Joe Mauer, who received a cortisone shot in his sore knee today.

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.