Max Scherzer and the Tigers clear the air

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Last weekend the Tigers took the unusual step of calling out Max Scherzer — however implicitly — as being greedy when they announced that he has rejected the team’s offer of a contract extension. That sort of thing turns fans against a player and can put a player on the defensive.

According to the Detroit Free Press, however, Scherzer and the Tigers had a meeting to clear the air:

“[GM Dave Dombrowski] told me he wanted to make sure he conveyed to fans that he was doing his job and he could see how some things put me in a negative context,” Scherzer said after his final spring-training start today. “That wasn’t his intent, but that’s just how it came across. He apologized for that.”

Scherzer got a big ovation from fans at his last spring training game too. And now that Miguel Cabrera’s massive contract extension has blown Scherzer off the front page, the issue is likely settled.

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.