Going into the middle of this game of this series, Athletics starter Sean Manaea owned a career 13.50 ERA in three starts against the Red Sox. In 11.1 innings pitched, Manaea has allowed 17 earned runs on 26 hits. Those numbers are far from good.
With those numbers in mind, and the fact that Chris Sale was on the mound for the Red Sox, I was honestly expecting an easy win. Instead, they got no hit for the first time in nearly 25 years.
In a matchup of quality left-handed pitchers, it was Manaea who came up on top. The other guy though, Chris Sale, wasn’t too bad either. While having some struggles early, Sale allowed the Athletics to score three times over seven innings, scattering six hits and one walk over sevn full innings, fanning 10 along the way.
For some reason, the lefty really struggled with the top third of the A’s lineup, specifically leadoff man Marcus Semien. He was the only player in the whole game to touch home plate, and he did it on three separate occasions, including on a solo home run in the fifth. Old friend Jed Lowrie collected his league-leading 23rd RBI of the season as well.
At 110 pitches (72 strikes) through seven innings, Sale’s day came to an end. I would guess he’ll make his next start on Friday, back at home against the Tampa Bay Rays.
The only other pitcher the Red Sox used was Heath Hembree. In his first appearance of the series, Hembree allowed a double and a walk, both with two outs, but got out of the inning unscathed, leaving the Red Sox lineup with one last chance in the ninth.
Unfortunately, that opportunity was not capitalized on by the Red Sox because Sean Manaea was excellent last night. The only mistakes he made were mere walks, which happened on just two occasions. There was some controversy on what was a hit and what wasn’t, like in the sixth inning.
It looked like Andrew Benintendi had just broke up the no-hitter with a dribbler down the first base line for a single. He was initially called safe, but he was later ruled out for running outside of the base path while running towards safe. That took away the hit, and Benintendi was none too pleased about it.
Despite the frustration here, that does not take away from what Manaea did. No hitting one of the best lineups in baseball is no small task, and Manaea needed just 108 pitches to do it. In fact, last night’s game was two hours and 16 minutes, which has to be the quickest game the Red Sox have played in this season. Manaea’s no-no also marks the first from an Athletics pitcher since Dallas Braden tossed a perfect game on Mother’s Day back in 2010.
From here, the Red Sox need to put this loss behind them. Shake it off, move on, and take the series with a win today. David Price will look to build on his successful outing in Anaheim, as he faces off against A’s righty Daniel Mengden. First pitch is at 4:05 PM ET.