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Indians lose no-hit bid in ninth inning against Blue Jays

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Update (9:07 PM ET): Freddy Galvis broke up the no-hit bid leading off the top of the ninth against Hand, lining a single to right-center.

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Update (8:54 PM ET): Edwards got two outs but also hit a batter and walked two, so Francona had to call on Brad Hand to get the final out of the inning. Hand got Lourdes Gurriel Jr. to pop up to keep the no-no alive.

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Update (8:38 PM ET): Francona decided to go to the bullpen after Bauer’s seven innings of work. Jon Edwards came in to relieve him. The last combined no-hitter also occurred last year, when the Dodgers’ Walker Buehler, Tony Cingrani, Yimi García, and Adam Liberatore combined to no-hit the Padres on May 4.

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Indians starter Trevor Bauer has held the Blue Jays hitless through seven innings on Thursday night in Cleveland. The right-hander has walked six and struck out eight, running his pitch count up to 117. One wonders if manager Terry Francona will actually let Bauer complete the no-hit bid.

The Indians have given Bauer four runs of support, scoring twice each in the fourth and seventh innings. Greg Allen knocked in a run with a ground out and Roberto Pérez added an insurance run with a sacrifice fly in the fourth. José Ramírez hit a sacrifice fly of his own in the seventh. Brad Miller then pushed across a run by drawing a bases-loaded walk.

In Bauer’s first start of the Year on Saturday, he limited the Twins to a lone run on one hit and one walk with nine strikeouts over seven innings. Bauer is coming off of a career year in 2018. He finished sixth in AL Cy Young Award balloting, going 12-6 with a 2.21 ERA and a 221/57 K/BB ratio in 175 1/3 innings.

An Indians pitcher hasn’t thrown a no-hitter since Len Barker threw a perfect game on May 15, 1981 against the Blue Jays. The Blue Jays were baseball’s most recent no-hit victim. James Paxton, then with the Mariners, no-hit the blue birds in May 8 last year. The last pitcher to walk at least six batters in a no-hitter was Francisco Liriano on May 3, 2011 against the White Sox. If Bauer gets to complete his no-hit bid, his pitch count would likely cross 140. Only two pitchers have tossed a no-hitter on 140-plus pitches: the Giants’ Tim Lincecum (148) on July 13, 2013 against the Padres and the Diamondbacks’ Edwin Jackson (149) on June 25, 2010 against the Rays.

Pirates hire Ben Cherington as their new general manager

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The Pittsburgh Pirates have hired Ben Cherington as the team’s new general manager. They do so after the general manager meetings ended, but better late than never.

Cherington served as GM of the Boston Red Sox for four years, winning the World Series in 2013, but resigned during the 2015 season after Dave Dombrowski was named Boston’s new president of baseball operations. Which was a defacto demotionn for Cherington who, until then, had the final say in baseball decisions. Dombrowski, of course, was fired late in the season this year. Cherington went on to work for the Toronto Blue Jays as a vice president, but was seen as biding his time for another GM position. Now he has one.

Cherington takes over in Pittsburgh for executive vice president and general manager Neal Huntington, who was fired after a 12 years at the helm. Also fired was team president Frank Coonelly. Travis Williams replaced Coonelly recently. While the Pirates experienced a few years of contention under Huntington and Coonelly, they have slid out of contention in recent years as the club has traded away promising players for little return, all while cutting payroll. There’s a very big rebuilding job ahead of Cherington.

The first move he’ll have to make: hire a manager, as the team still hasn’t replaced Clint Hurdle since he was dismissed in the final weekend of the regular season.