Major League Baseball suspends four minor leaguers for using drugs

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Update: There was a fifth player suspended: Royals minor league pitcher Arnaldo Hernandez will sit 50 games after testing positive for methamphetamines, per Stefan Stevenson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

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Major League Baseball suspended four minor league players on Thursday for positive drug tests. The players are:

  • Free agent pitcher Mario Alcantara, suspended 50 games for amphetamines (via Evan Drellich)
  • Red Sox catcher Jake Romanski, suspended 50 games for amphetamines (via Drellich)
  • Astros pitcher Brendan McCurry, suspended 50 games for methamphetamines (via Jake Kaplan)
  • Indians pitcher Dakody Clemmer, suspended 50 games for a second positive test for a drug of abuse (via Paul Hoynes)

The suspensions will be effective at the start of the 2017 regular season.

Alcantara, 23, spent last season with High-A Salem, putting up a 3.16 ERA with a 68/48 K/BB ratio in 79 2/3 innings. He made one start and 31 relief appearances. The Red Sox signed Alcantara out of the Dominican Republic in 2009.

Romanski, who turned 26 years old today, spent the 2016 season with Double-A Portland, batting .308/.338/.410 with 26 extra-base hits, 38 RBI, and 34 runs scored in 357 plate appearances. He was selected by the Red Sox in the 14th round of the 2013 draft.

McCurry, 24, split the season between Double-A Corpus Christi and Triple-A Fresno, putting up an aggregate 3.07 ERA with a 94/21 K/BB ratio in 82 innings over 55 relief appearances and one start. The Athletics picked him in the 22nd round of the 2014 draft.

Clemmer, 20, pitched his first season of professional baseball last year in rookie ball. He made 17 relief appearances spanning 18 2/3 innings, posting a 7.71 ERA and a 21/13 K/BB ratio. He was selected in the 19th round of the 2016 draft by the Indians.

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.