The Royals will definitely sell out their game on April 2nd

12 Comments

The Royals should have a big crowd on April 2nd. And not just for the Royals-Angels game scheduled that afternoon:

According to team spokesman Toby Cook, the Royals are planning to hold a minor league exhibition game between its top two minor league affiliates, Class AAA Omaha and Class AA Northwest Arkansas, on April 2 at Kauffman Stadium. The showdown will take place approximately 30 minutes after the Royals conclude their game against the Los Angeles Angles of Anaheim, which is scheduled to start at 12:10 p.m.

With Mike Moustakas, Eric Hosmer, Mike Montgomery and all of the other studs in the Royals system, the question has to be asked whether it wouldn’t be better to start a combined roster of the AAA and AA teams against the Angels that afternoon and let Jeff Francoeur, Melky Cabrera and the current major leaguers play a game that doesn’t count.

Sean Manaea pitches first no-hitter of 2018

AP Images
9 Comments

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.