Athletics

Sean Manaea throws seventh no-hitter in Oakland A's history

Sean Manaea throws seventh no-hitter in Oakland A's history

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OAKLAND -- 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.

How A's starter Daniel Mengden was able to turn his 2019 season around

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USATSI

How A's starter Daniel Mengden was able to turn his 2019 season around

OAKLAND -- Daniel Mengden's first five outings of the season did not go well.

While the A's right-hander posted a respectable 1-1 record, he allowed 13 earned runs in just 23 innings for an ERA of 5.09. Mengden's biggest problem was his command -- the 26-year-old issued 15 walks in those five outings, translating to nearly six walks per nine frames.

Not surprisingly, Mengden was demoted to Triple-A. But he didn't hang his head. Instead, he used the opportunity to improve, particularly his control.

Since returning to the A's late last month, Mengden has won all four of his starts, most recently a 9-2 victory over the Mariners on Tuesday night at the Coliseum. He tossed seven strong innings, allowing just one run on four hits.

Most importantly, Mengden has only walked one batter in 24 innings since getting called back up from Triple-A.

"It's amazing," he said. "I'm not a big punchout guy. I'm not going to blow anybody away all the time, so it's all about staying aggressive and being ahead because when I'm ahead, I'm always in the driver's seat."

A's manager Bob Melvin echoed that sentiment, explaining that Mengden's improved command has completely changed the way he can attack hitters.

"Putting guys on base usually means you're getting behind them," Melvin said. "Now, all of a sudden, you have guys on base and you're trying to pitch around traffic. So I think that's been the key since he's been back."

With Tuesday's win, Mengden improved to 5-1 on the season with a 4.21 ERA, down nearly a full run from a month ago. In addition to commanding his pitches better, he has effectively mixed speeds and locations to keep hitters off balance.

"It's just staying aggressive," Mengden explained. "Getting strike one, and trying to keep them off balance."

Added Melvin: "It's mixing pitches that's important to him and getting ahead. Then he gets way less predictable. When he's behind and now he has to come in with a fastball, he's a little easier to handle. So it all starts with strike one, it all starts with not putting guys on base."

Mengden accomplished that goal Tuesday night, throwing first-pitch strikes to 19 of the 25 batters he faced. In total, he threw 65 strikes, compared to just 31 balls.

[RELATED: Bailey gets 'energy boost' joining A's]

"That's huge for us," said A's third baseman Matt Chapman, who homered and drove in five runs. "Playing defense behind a guy who throws a lot of strikes and works quick, that's all you can ask for. ... (Mengden) is capable of doing really good things on the mound. I've seen it in the minor leagues and seen it at this level too. So to see him get into that groove is really good."

The A's hope Mengden stays in that groove for the rest of the season. As long as he continues to pitch ahead in the count, he should be in great shape.

Homer Bailey gets 'energy boost' by joining playoff-contending A's

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AP

Homer Bailey gets 'energy boost' by joining playoff-contending A's

OAKLAND -- In the blink of an eye, Homer Bailey went from being 20 1/2 games out of a playoff spot to being tied for the second American League Wild Card position.

The 33-year-old right-hander was traded from Kansas City to Oakland on Sunday as the A's officially began their trade deadline maneuvering.

"To go to (a team) like this, it's definitely an energy boost," Bailey said. "Guys who go to contending teams, maybe their game will elevate a little bit. It definitely brings in some energy that I haven't been a part of in a few years."

It's actually been more than a few years. The last time Bailey was on a team over .500 was the 2013 Cincinnati Reds. He's excited to finally be back in a playoff race.

"You see how competitive they are within this division and right there in the middle of everything," Bailey said of the A's. "The only thing I see is the record right now and that's just something that glares out. Obviously, the guys know how to win some games."

As for his performance on the mound, it's been a rough few years for the former first-round draft pick. Bailey finished the last two seasons with earned run averages of 6.43 and 6.09, respectively. He's been better this year with a 4.80 ERA and has enjoyed great success in his last eight outings, going 3-1 with a 3.35 ERA.

"It looks like the velo is up a little bit, he's got a good split, can pitch up and down," A's manager Bob Melvin assessed. "He's always been a talented guy. ... A lot of it has to do with just confidence. If you're feeling confident on the mound, that's a lot of the battle."

Bailey offered his thoughts on why he's pitching better of late.

"Just pitching a little bit better, having a little better gameplans going into it, preparation, and hopefully it will continue," Bailey said.

[RELATED: Why Laureano's power isn't surprising]

Bailey will make his A's debut Wednesday afternoon against the Seattle Mariners. If he can continue his recent performance, it should help bolster Oakland's decimated starting rotation.

"I know he's excited about being here and we're excited about having him," Melvin said.