April 21, 2018 will be a date to remember in Oakland A’s history. Facing MLB’s top team, Sean Manaea needed just 108 pitches to no-hit the Boston Red Sox. It was the A’s first no-hitter since Dallas Braden‘s perfect game on Mother’s Day 2010.
Manaea struck out 10 and walked two. The left-hander has allowed only 16 hits in 36.2 innings this season. He lowered his ERA to 1.23 through five starts this season. The A’s won the game, 3-0, to move to 10-11 on the season.
The A’s faced off against Chris Sale in a battle of two of the top lefties in the American League. The red-hot Jed Lowrie doubled home Marcus Semien in the first to give the A’s all the offense they’d need. They’d add single runs in the third and the fifth on a Stephen Piscotty double and a Semien solo home run.
Manaea didn’t need much help. Using a fastball that he could spot on both the inside and outside of the plate, he carved up the Red Sox, not allowing much hard contact throughout the game. There were two plays that came close to costing Manaea the no-hitter: 1) a pop-up in the fifth inning that hit a running Semien in the heel of the glove and popped out in shallow left field. The play was ruled an error and the no-hitter continued, and 2) in the sixth inning, Andrew Benintendi hit a slow roller to first base that Matt Olson fielded. He dove to tag Benintendi and missed, but Benintendi was ruled to have run outside of the baseline.
During the postgame press conference, Manaea told reporters that he wasn’t aware that he had a no-hitter until the eighth inning because he thought the ball that Semien was charged an error on had been a hit. In the ninth, Manaea said his heart was beating out of his chest as he retired Blake Swihart on a groundout, Mookie Betts on a flyout and Hanley Ramirez on a groundout to short after he walked Benintendi with two-outs.
It was the first no-hitter of both Manaea and catcher Jonathan Lucroy‘s big league careers. The last time the Red Sox were no-hit was in 1993.
In the same week the A’s played a nearly six hour game, Manaea’s no-hitter went 2:16 and 25,746 were in attendance.
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