Aaron Hicks hasn’t played much since giving up switch-hitting to become exclusively a right-handed hitter two weeks ago and now he’s headed to the disabled list with a shoulder injury.
Hicks, who began each of the past two seasons as the Opening Day center fielder only to lose the job by hitting below .200, injured his shoulder last week and the Twins insisted it was minor initially. He appeared as a late-inning sub Monday, so the disabled list stint can only be backdated that far.
Of course, if healthy it’s possible that Hicks would have simply been optioned back to Triple-A because the Twins are more committed to Danny Santana as their primary center fielder and now have Sam Fuld returning from a concussion to back him up.
Hicks was a consensus top-100 prospect heading into 2013 and the Twins thought he was so ready for the majors that they had him skip Triple-A at age 23, but he’s hit just .194 with 126 strikeouts through 129 games.
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.