Jaime Garcia tallies career-high 10 strikeouts in return

5 Comments

Jaime Garcia looked about as good as the Cards could have hoped for in his return from an eight-week stint on the disabled list Sunday at Busch Stadium.

The left-hander struck out a career-high 10 batters while allowing just two unearned runs and five hits over eight strong innings against the visiting Pirates.

Garcia threw 73 of his 107 pitches for strikes and didn’t walk a single batter, lowering his ERA (now 4.00) nearly a half-point from where it was on June 6 (4.48) when he first landed on the 15-day disabled list because of an impingement in his throwing shoulder.

Garcia is the first Cardinals left-hander to tally double-digit strikeouts in a game since Mark Mulder in May of 2005 and he’s the first to hit that mark without issuing a walk since Rick Ankiel in September 2000.

Sean Manaea pitches first no-hitter of 2018

AP Images
9 Comments

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.