Report: Dale Sveum the favorite for the Red Sox job

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Ken Rosenthal hears that Brewers hitting coach Dale Sveum “appears to be the front-runner” for the Red Sox’ vacant managerial position.  Which, given that it’s not a race as much as it is a binary yes/no kind of thing, is not the most illuminating thing in the world, but you know how this stuff goes.

He may very well be the top choice. Earlier today Heyman said that he and Mike Maddux are favored by the Boston brass.  And because the Red Sox, Cubs and Cardinals are apparently playing a grand game of musical chairs here, you can kind of figure that Maddux is high on the Cubs list and that Pete Mackanin, Terry Francona and Ryne Sandberg are all eyeing each other warily, waiting for the music to stop.

Hell, all we need now is a “Mystery Manager” to enter the scene and this will be more fun than any chaotic December free agent rumor-fest we’re likely to get.

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.