And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Rangers 4, Blue Jays 1: I think it’s safe to say that, after a couple of rocky starts to begin the year, Yu Darvish is starting to get comfortable. He struck out nine Blue Jays while giving up a single run in seven innings. The homer was by the incredibly hot Edwin Encarnacion, who has gone long in four straight games. He hit this one two innings after getting hit by Darvish.

Brewers 8, Padres 3: Ryan Braun hit three homers, one of which landed on the top deck of the Western Metal Supply Co. down the left-field line at Petco, which is a serious poke, especially for a night game in San Diego when it’s around 60 degrees. He also socked a triple. Mercy.

Red Sox 11, Athletics 6: Darn. I thought Sunday’s loss would send them off on some new, horrible, drama-filled losing streak but wouldn’t you know it, the Red Sox bounce back and win their seventh of eight. Dammit, it looks like we need another narrative besides “the Red Sox are doomed!” Maybe Clay Buchholz still is, as he gave up six run on seven hits in six and two-thirds. But Tommy Milone had it worse.

Rays 3, Mariners 2:  Tampa Bay rallied in the 11th and the 12th. Evan Longoria and Miguel Olivo each left the game early with injuries, but each of their replacements on defense — Elliot Johnson and Jesus Montero — had big hits.

Phillies 6, Cubs 4: A four-run first inning wasn’t all the Phillies needed — Placido Polanco broke a tie in the eighth with a two-run double — but it was a good start. Vance Worley allowed one run over seven but didn’t get the win thanks to a Chad Qualls give-up-a-tying-homer-and-then-hang-around-for-the-offense-to-pick-me-up vulture job.

Yankees 2, Orioles 1: Hiroki Kuroda outduels Jason Hammel. A 2:22 Yankees game. You don’t see a ton of those.

Pirates 9, Braves 3: It’s been a while since the Bucco’s bats did anything decent, but they went off last night. Pedro Alvarez and Yamaico Navarro each went yard. It was the first time all year that they had scored more than five in a game.

Astros 4, Mets 3: A Jed Lowrie RBI single broke a 3-3 tie in the eighth. The Astros used seven pitchers to get through this one even though their starter went six and two-thirds innings. That’s not something you see every day.

Diamondbacks 9, Marlins 5: Patrick Corbin won his major league debut.  Cody Ransom and Justin Upton hit two-run homers. The Marlins have lost eight of nine and the home crowds are booing. Or maybe they weren’t booing. Maybe they were just saying “Boo-uehrle, Boo-uehrle …”

Angels 4, Twins 3: Torii Hunter was 3 for 4 with a homer and three driven in. C.J. Wilson cruised into the eighth where he ran into a bit of trouble but still picked up his third win.

Rockies 6, Dodgers 2: Matt Kemp homered again — that’s 12 already — but the Dodgers didn’t do much more against Juan Nicasio, who scattered nine hits and allowed only two runs to the previously-hot Dodgers.

Royals vs. Tigers: POSTPONED: April is the cruellest month, breeding Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing Memory and desire, stirring. Dull roots with spring rain. And Yuniesky. He was stirred too, I imagine.

Sean Manaea thought he was throwing a one hitter

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Tossing a no-hitter doesn’t just require physical excellence; it’s a mental feat, too. Which is why it may have helped that Athletics hurler Sean Manaea didn’t realize his no-hitter was intact until the eighth inning of Saturday’s 3-0 win over the Red Sox.

While the first few innings passed uneventfully, Sandy Leon managed to reach base in the fifth inning after skying a ball to shallow center field. It wasn’t a clean hit, of course — shortstop Marcus Semien dropped the ball on the catch and was promptly charged with an error to preserve Manaea’s no-hit bid.

That was news to Manaea, who told reporters that he didn’t realize he still had a no-hitter going until he saw the scoreboard in the eighth inning. “Until the eighth, I thought it just like was a one-hitter,” he said. “I looked up in the eighth and saw there were still zeros and was like, whoa, weird.” The delay of that realization may have calmed his nerves as he continued to blank the best team in baseball, eventually capping his 108-pitch, 10-strikeout effort in the ninth.

A few fun facts about the feat:

  • Manaea’s no-hitter was the 12th of its kind in franchise history, dating back to Weldon Henley’s no-no against the St. Louis Browns in 1905.
  • The most recent pitcher to do so for the A’s was fellow left-hander Dallas Braden, who completed the club’s second-ever perfect game against the Rays in 2010. Surprisingly, Manaea managed to make even more efficient use of his pitch count than Braden did during his perfecto; he fired just 108 pitches against the Red Sox, a hair under the 109 pitches used by Braden against the Rays.
  • Manaea himself, however, is just the seventh Athletics pitcher (and third lefty) to toss a no-hitter. Legendary southpaw Vida Blue pitched two no-nos for the team, including a combined no-hitter that also featured Glenn Abbott, Paul Lindblad and Rollie Fingers against the 1975 California Angels.
  • Until Saturday, the Red Sox had the second-longest streak without being no-hit in the majors, at 3,987 games… a record that was only eclipsed by the A’s own streak.
  • With a 17-2 record and .895 winning percentage, the Red Sox were the most successful team to be no-hit in major-league history. Prior to Saturday’s loss, they averaged 6.4 runs per game and had yet to be shut out by any team in 2018.
  • Since 1908, 46 no-hitters have been pitched against AL East teams: four against the Blue Jays, five against the Rays, eight against the Yankees, 13 against the Red Sox and 16 against the Orioles. Mariners lefty Chris Bosio was the last pitcher to no-hit the Red Sox, a feat he accomplished almost exactly 25 years ago on April 22, 1993.