White Sox beat Rays, gain ground on Tigers

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The White Sox still aren’t hitting. Fortunately, Gavin Floyd and the bullpen were good enough to overcome that for one night.

Floyd allowed one run over five innings and combined with five relievers on a three-hitter Friday in a 3-1 win over the Rays. The White Sox moved to within one within one game of the Tigers after Detroit lost to Minnesota 4-2.

Alex Rios was the offensive star for the White Sox tonight, going 3-for-4 with a solo homer and two runs scored. While most of the rest of the lineup has slumped, he’s hit .309 with five homers and five doubles in 97 at-bast this month. The homer was his 25th overall.

Jeremy Hellickson took the loss for Tampa Bay while facing the White Sox for the first time in 63 career starts. He allowed three runs — two earned — in 5 2/3 innings.

The Tigers were undone by Ryan Doumit in their loss to Minnesota. After Drew Smyly turned in 5 1/3 scoreless innings, Doumit drove in all four Twins runs with a homer in the seventh and a single in the eighth. Detroit got its only runs on an Omar Infante homer in the top of the eighth.

Would-be MVP Miguel Cabrera went 2-for-4 to push his average back up to .327. However, he went without an RBI for the fifth straight game.

Cabrera’s closest competitor in the batting race, Minnesota’s Joe Mauer, went 0-for-2 with two walks in the game to drop his average to .322.

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.