Giants not yet ready to recall Brandon Belt

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Thanks to Darren Ford’s ankle sprain, it sounds like the Giants will soon have a roster spot open up.  However, manager Bruce Bochy said Wednesday that a move involving Brandon Belt isn’t likely.

“To be honest, Belt is more of a longshot,” Bochy told the San Francisco Chronicle.  “What we’re looking for is more of a bench type player and more depth, a pinch-hitter.”

Belt, who struggled as the Giants’ first baseman while Cody Ross was on the DL last month, is batting .351/.484/.546 with four homers and 21 RBI in 30 games for Triple-A Fresno.  He’s dominated righties to the tune of a .394/.531/.606 line.

With the Giants struggling to score runs, bringing up Belt and using him as a platoon left fielder would make sense.  However, the Giants don’t want to go that route yet.  They’re certainly a far better defensive team with Nate Schierholtz in right and Ross in left, an alignment they’ve been using more frequently lately.

Besides, even though they’re dead last in the NL in runs scored, the Giants are sitting in first place in the NL West with a 27-20 record.  And their road to returning to the playoffs appeared to get a little smoother with Tuesday’s news that the Rockies’ Jorge De La Rosa would need Tommy John surgery.

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.