Jon Jay and Skip Schumaker are on the disabled list, along with a half-dozen of the Cardinals’ other key players, so manager Mike Matheny is getting creative with tonight’s lineup: Carlos Beltran is playing center field for the first time since 2010.
That last center field start in 2010 came for the Mets, but tonight the 35-year-old Beltran will be playing against the Mets in New York.
He’ll be flanked by Matt Holliday in left field and Allen Craig in right field. Craig actually started in center field five times for the Cardinals last season, but since then he’s had knee surgery and just returned from a disabled list stint for a hamstring injury.
Shane Robinson and Adron Chambers are the other options in center field, which is why Matheny is willing to take the hit defensively–or at least put Beltran’s knees at increased risk–to get more offensive punch into the lineup.
UPDATE (11:25 PM ET): Manaea delivered a nearly-flawless ninth inning to complete his first career no-hitter against the Red Sox on Saturday night. He collected the first two outs of the inning in quick succession with a groundout from Blake Swihart and fly out from Mookie Betts, then walked Andrew Benintendi on seven pitches. With a pitch count of just 108, he got Hanley Ramirez to ground into a force out for the final out of the game, polishing off the A’s 12th no-hitter in franchise history and first of the 2018 season.
Athletics southpaw Sean Manaea has no-hit the Red Sox through eight innings of Saturday’s game. 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 held the Sox to just three total baserunners through the first eight innings.
Andrew Benintendi tried to break up the no-no in the sixth inning, collecting an infield hit for what appeared to be the Red Sox’ first hit of the evening. Upon further review, however, the hit was reversed after Benintendi incurred a batter interference call for running outside the baseline.
Manaea is currently working with 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. He’s racked up a career-high 10 strikeouts against 26 batters so far.
If Manaea sees the no-hitter through to completion — as seems entirely possible, given that his pitch count is resting at 95 entering the ninth — he’ll be 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, meanwhile, was back in 1993 against the Mariners’ Chris Bosio.