Brett Anderson on track for possible July return from Tommy John surgery

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In addition to trading away a ton of young talent this offseason the A’s also lost perhaps their best young pitcher, Brett Anderson, to Tommy John elbow surgery in July.

That knocked him out for at least 12 months, but Jane Lee of MLB.com reports that Anderson’s recovery is going so well that returning almost exactly one year after the surgery is looking like a possibility.

Lee reports that Anderson threw his first post-surgery bullpen session this week and will soon be throwing live batting practice sessions at the A’s spring training complex in Arizona.

Anderson called a mid-July return “the goal” and said that, so far least, he’s been “step by step” with the outlined recovery plan. Oakland will probably be out of contention by July, but getting Anderson back for the second half would give the A’s some increased hope for 2013.

Prior to going under the knife the 24-year-old left-hander made 62 career starts with a 3.66 ERA and 286/92 K/BB ratio in 371 innings.

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.