Red Sox

Manfred explains suspension timetable for Gary Sanchez and why Dellin Betances did not get one

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Manfred explains suspension timetable for Gary Sanchez and why Dellin Betances did not get one

BOSTON — Commissioner Rob Manfred on Tuesday gave explanations to suspension-related issues that directly involved the Yankees but tangentially related to the Red Sox.

Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez on Aug. 25 was suspended for four games for throwing punches against the Tigers a day earlier. Sanchez’s appeal hearing was slated for Friday, Sept. 1, when the Red Sox were in town, and no decision was handed down until after the Sox left.

Why didn’t it get done sooner? The timetable at least made it look like MLB preferred not to take Sanchez away from the Yanks for their series against Boston. Manfred said the matter was handled as it normally would be. (A New York Post report noted the impact of Labor Day.)

“The best way for me to answer that question is that the Sanchez appeal, suspension was handled consistent with a process that’s existed for literally decades,” Manfred said. “When a player is suspended for on-field misconduct he has a right to appeal because you can’t give a missed game back to a player the suspension is held in abeyance. The hearings are scheduled as promptly as they can be scheduled, usually within 10 days. It becomes difficult to do that when you have large numbers of suspensions coming out of one incident, particularly the two teams go in different directions. You have one hearing officer, it’s very difficult to get them all done within that 10-day period and you know, often, often these matters are settled before they get to hearings. You know, I see the Sanchez thing as kind of standard operating procedure.”

During the same Aug. 24 incident that got Sanchez suspended, Yankees righty Dellin Betances hit the Tigers’ James McCann in the head. He received no suspension after being ejected from a game that was tied at 6 at the time.

Red Sox reliever Matt Barnes was suspended for four games earlier this season because he threw in the area of Manny Machado’s head, but did not him. The Sox were ahead, and Dustin Pedroia also was caught on camera trying to explain the decision to throw at Machado.

“Look, I don’t make those disciplinary decisions with respect to on field matters,” Manfred said. “My friend and colleague Joe Torre does. I think that that is a wise decision, or excuse me, division of responsibility because I think in order to make good decisions in that area it involves making judgments that you can only make if you have extensive on field experience. And I think without getting into the Barnes situation, I think that the decision with respect to Betances was grounded in the thought that it was not an intentional act.”

Manfred saw some levity in these questions about the Yankees at Fenway Park.

“It’s interesting, I’ve rarely had this level of interest in an on-field incident that doesn’t involve the club where I am,” he said. “It’s truly astounding. But — yeah, I think that’s fair assumption.”

But if a close game means a presumption of innocence, doesn’t that incentivize teams to throw at players in those situations?

“I don’t think that’s a determinative factor,” Manfred said. “There are a number of factors that in general, and I’m not talking about Joe’s decision-making process in this case, I’m talking about in general, over time, with various on-field disciplinarians. They look at things like the pitcher's demeanor, the game situation, did it make sense that they would be trying to throw at somebody given the particular game situation, the player’s history. A variety of things that I think influence that decision. The umpire’s report, you know those umpires are on the ground, they have a pretty good feel for what goes on. Joe has a lot of information that comes from somebody that’s on the ground which I think is extremely valuable.”

Red Sox fall victim to no-hitter for first time since 1993

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Red Sox fall victim to no-hitter for first time since 1993

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Sean Manaea might've been the only person at the Oakland Coliseum who didn't realize he was still working on a no-hitter.

After a dropped popup in the fifth inning, the Athletics lefty figured it was over.

"I didn't even think about it until I looked up in the seventh or eighth," Manaea said, "and I was like, `Oh my God, why is there still a zero on there?'"

Because it was ruled an error. And his shot at history remained intact.

Manaea pitched the first no-hitter against Boston in almost exactly 25 years, with an overturned call on the bases preserving the gem Saturday night in Oakland's 3-0 win over the sizzling Red Sox.

Manaea struck out 10, walked two and threw 108 pitches to finish off Oakland's first no-no since Dallas Braden tossed a perfect game against Tampa Bay in 2010.

Manaea got Hanley Ramirez to ground out to complete the first no-hitter versus the Red Sox since Seattle's Chris Bosio did it on April 22, 1993.

"I just telling myself, keep everything the same, and not let anything get too big for me," Manaea said.

Boston looked as if it had a hit with two outs in the sixth at the Oakland Coliseum. Andrew Benintendi hit a grounder to the right side, tried to dodge a tag by first baseman Matt Olson and was called safe.

After the umpires conferred, Benintendi was ruled out for going wide of the baseline. Benintendi ran onto the grass in foul territory to get around Olson.

"Do I agree with it? No," Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. "It is what it is."

Said Benintendi: "It's just a missed call."

Sandy Leon reached in the Red Sox fifth when A's shortstop Marcus Semien ranged into shallow center field and dropped a popup trying to make an over-the-shoulder catch. The play was scored as an error.

Manaea said he figured it was a hit. A few innings later, he noticed what everybody else already knew -- no-hitter in progress.

"So after that, my adrenaline started pumping a little bit again, and I really wanted to finish this thing out," he said.

Manaea (3-2) had been battered by Boston in three previous starts, going 1-2 with a 13.50 ERA.

But the 26-year-old cooled off a Red Sox team that had won eight in a row and 17 of 18. Boston began the game with a major league-best .293 batting average.

Manaea retired 14 straight batters after walking Mookie Betts leading off the game.

A lot of Red Sox fans were in the announced crowd of 25,746, and many rose to their feet when Manaea took the mound in the ninth.

Betts hit a ball to the warning track with one out in the ninth. After Benintendi walked with two outs on a full count, Ramirez hit a grounder to Semien for an easy force play at second.

"My heart was beating out of my chest and I was trying to do everything I could (to stay calm)," Manaea said before he was interrupted by teammates who smeared celebratory shaving cream in his face, dumped water and Gatorade on his head and left him with a plastic bubble gum tub for a hat.

It was the 12th no-hitter by the Athletics franchise and the 12th thrown against the Red Sox.

This was the first no-hitter in the majors since Miami's Edinson Volquez pitched the only one of the 2017 season against Arizona on June 3.

Chris Sale (1-1) struck out 10 and gave up three runs on six hits and one walk in seven innings.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Red Sox: SS Xander Bogaerts (left ankle) will play for Triple-A Pawtucket on a rehab assignment on Tuesday and Wednesday. If all goes well he'll be activated when the team opens a six-game homestand on Friday, Cora said. . RHP Steven Wright (left knee surgery) left a rehab game at Triple-A Pawtucket on Friday with back tightness. . RHP Tyler Thornburg (right shoulder surgery), who's at the team's extended spring training facility in Fort Myers, Florida, will join the team on Friday and could throw batting practice, Cora said.

Athletics: RHP Yusmeiro Petit was activated from the family emergency list on Saturday. . RHP Josh Lucas was sent to Triple-A Nashville in a corresponding move. . RHP Paul Blackburn (right forearm strain) threw on flat ground for a second straight day on Saturday, but the A's haven't established a timetable for his return, manager Bob Melvin said.

UP NEXT

LHP David Price (2-1, 2.25 ERA) will pitch for Boston in Sunday's series finale. RHP Daniel Mengden (2-2, 4.50) will pitch for Oakland.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

Moreland's grand slam helps Red Sox keep streak going with win over Athletics, 7-3

Moreland's grand slam helps Red Sox keep streak going with win over Athletics, 7-3

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Even with slugger J.D. Martinez getting a rare day off, the Boston Red Sox had more than enough power in their lineup to keep the best start in franchise history going.

Mitch Moreland hit a grand slam, Jackie Bradley Jr. added a three-run homer and the streaking Red Sox won their eighth in a row, beating the Oakland Athletics 7-3 on Friday night.

Boston extended the best start in the franchise's 118-year history, improving to a major league-leading 17-2. The Red Sox have won 17 of 18 since losing to Tampa Bay on Opening Day.

"They're doing something special, let's be honest," Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. "There's a lot of people watching the team now and there's a lot of people talking about the team. You can't help it. You flip the channels and they're talking about what's going on."

Hundreds of Boston fans decked in red showed up at the Oakland Coliseum. They saw Moreland hit the fifth grand slam by the Red Sox this season - they didn't hit any last year.

Eduardo Nunez had three hits and scored while Hanley Ramirez singled twice for the Red Sox.

"Everybody in here is doing the same thing and it's showed all year how well we've played," Moreland said. "Everybody's stepped up and done something to help the team win and that's the reason we're where we're at."

Jed Lowrie matched his career high with four hits for Oakland. Lowrie, who doubled in a run in the first, leads the majors in hits (32) and RBIs (22). The A's had won four in a row.

"Just a consistent routine and taking good swings, putting together good at-bats every time up, every day," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said.

Moreland homered on the first pitch from reliever Emilio Pagan in the sixth. Mookie BettsAndrew Benintendi and Ramirez opened the inning with three consecutive singles off starter Kendall Graveman (0-4) before Moreland's towering shot to right.

This is the first time the Red Sox have hit five slams before May 1.

"In that situation I'm just trying to go up and get a pitch up in the zone," said Moreland, who has homered in each of his last four games at the Coliseum. "It just happened to be a slider that kind of popped of out of his hand and I was able to put a good swing on it."

Bradley homered off Graveman in the second inning, his second in four games.

The power surge by the Red Sox was timely on a night starter Drew Pomeranz failed to make it out of the fourth inning in his season debut. Activated off the disabled list earlier in the day after recovering from a strained forearm, the left-hander struck out seven but allowed three runs and seven hits in 3 2/3 innings.

Hector Velazquez (3-0) pitched three scoreless innings for the win. Boston also got a lift from Matt Barnes, who retired four batters and struck out pinch-hitter Matt Joyce with the bases loaded to end the seventh.

CREW CHIEF REVIEW

Chad Pinder hit what appeared to be a two-run homer off Pomeranz in the first inning but first base umpire Hunter Wendelstedt ruled it foul after a few moments of uncertainty. Crew chief and home plate ump Brian Gorman called for a review and the foul call stood. Pinder struck out to end the inning.

LEFTY ISSUES

The A's dropped to 1-6 in games started by left-handed pitchers. Boston will also start lefties on Saturday and Sunday.

GRAVEMAN'S DAY

Graveman, Oakland's opening day starter, pitched into the sixth and allowed six runs on seven hits. He has allowed seven home runs this season, tied with Cole Hamels of Texas for most in the majors.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Red Sox: Martinez was given a planned day off. Martinez has been Boston's hottest hitter over the past two weeks while going 13 for 22 (.591) with four home runs. ... LHP Bobby Poyner will make at least one more rehab start before the team decides whether or not to activate him off the DL. Poyner has been out since April 12 with a strained left hamstring. ... RHP Marcus Walden was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket to make room for Pomeranz.

Athletics: RHPs Chris Bassitt and Josh Lucas were recalled from Triple-A Nashville. LHP Daniel Coulombe was optioned down.

UP NEXT

Boston's Chris Sale (1-0, 1.23 ERA) faces Sean Manaea (2-2, 1.63 ERA) in matchup of lefties at the Coliseum on Saturday. Sale has yielded three runs and struck out 31 over 22 innings this season. Manaea has been Oakland's most consistent pitcher, allowing two or fewer runs in each of his four starts.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE