Red Sox move ahead of Rays in seventh inning of Game 4

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The Red Sox are suddenly six outs away from dismissing the Rays and advancing to the ALCS.

Tampa Bay scored the first run of this ALDS Game 4 in the bottom of the sixth inning on David DeJesus’ RBI single, but the Red Sox answered right back in the top of the seventh. Pinch-hitting for Stephen Drew, rising star Xander Bogaerts took a one-out walk from Rays left-hander Jake McGee. Jacoby Ellsbury then hit a two-out single, moving Bogaerts to third. Rays manager Joe Maddon called for right-hander Joel Peralta, who skipped his first pitch and allowed Bogaerts to scamper home for the tying run. An infield single by Shane Victorino moments later drove in Ellsbury and gave Boston a 2-1 lead.

Red Sox reliever Craig Breslow struck out Evan Longoria, Ben Zobrist and Desmond Jennings in order in the bottom of the seventh inning. Breslow also fanned James Loney in the bottom of the sixth.

To the top of the eighth inning we go at Tampa Bay’s Tropicana Field.

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.