Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal reports that Adrian Gonzalez has been cleared to begin hitting off a tee and did so this morning. Feeling fine and no need to consult with a doctor as was previously suggested he might. He’s supposed to begin live batting practice soon. So that’s some good news for a Red Sox Nation that has had nothing but … oh, wait. They’ve basically had nothing but good news since November. Forget I said anything.
Speaking of tees, this weekend I bought my son a regulation tee, a couple of balls and a glove. This on the heels of a recent declaration that he wants to play t-ball this spring. Then — before I gave them to him — he told me that he’d rather play soccer. The equipment is now sitting in my trunk, for I fear that if I give them to him now I am officially that dad who pushes his kid into stuff he doesn’t want to do. Of course, if I don’t give them to him, he’s going to go through childhood thinking that soccer is a real sport or something.
Parenting is hard, yo.
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.