MLB announces plan for three-way tiebreaker

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This was pretty much a no-brainer, and it’s a highly unlikely scenario with the Angels having lost three out of four, but just in case, MLB today announced what would happen in the event of a three-team tie in the AL wild card.

Thursday: Angels at Red Sox
Friday: Rays at first-game winner

The Rays had the pick of the litter.  They could choose the one game Friday on the road or set themselves up to play two games at home.  Figuring it’d be easier to win one game than two, they made the obvious choice.  The Red Sox then had the second pick in the draw and made their choice to play the Angels at home.  The winner of the Angels-Red Sox game would host the Rays the following day.

Anyway, it’s likely all for naught now.  The Angels are three games out in the wild card, meaning their first loss or first Boston win puts them out of the running for a postseason spot.

The Red Sox are one game up on the Rays.  If it’s a two-way playoff between those two teams, it’d be played in St. Pete on Thursday.

Also still to be determined in the AL is who will host the wild card winner.  The Rangers are one game up on the Tigers for the two-seed and the right to avoid the Yankees.

Sean Manaea pitches 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.