A's lefty Sean Manaea blanks red-hot Red Sox for MLB's first no-hitter of 2018

Three weeks and two days into the new season, we have our first no-hitter of 2018. And it came against the hottest team in baseball.

Saturday night Oakland Athletics left-hander Sean Manaea no-hit the Boston Red Sox at the Oakland Coliseum. The final score was 3-0 (box score). Manaea walked two and struck out 10 in the complete game, throwing 108 pitches, so he was relatively efficient. A's skipper Bob Melvin didn't have to stress over his pitch count.

Here's the final out of the no-hitter. It's not often you see the final out of a no-no at second base.

The Red Sox went into Saturday's game with a 17-2 record and riding an eight-game winning streak, the longest active winning streak in baseball. Furthermore, Boston led MLB in runs (123), batting average (.293), on-base percentage (.361), and slugging percentage (.497). Manaea didn't just throw a no-hitter Saturday. He no-hit the best hitting team in MLB.

It should be noted the no-hitter was not without controversy. Sandy Leon reached base on an error in the fifth inning when shortstop Marcus Semien couldn't make an over-the-shoulder catch in shallow center field. The ball did deflect off his glove, though it was a difficult play, the kind of the play that is usually called a base hit.

Also, in the sixth inning Andrew Benintendi beat out an infield single on a slow roller to first base, but the umpires got together and determined Benintendi ran outside the baseline to avoid Matt Olson's tag. He was ruled out and the no-hitter continued. It goes into the books as an out on batter interference. Here's video of the play:

Going into Saturday's game, Manaea was a 2-2 record despite a 1.63 ERA in four starts and 27 2/3 innings on the young season. He'd struck out 20 and walked only four. Through five starts Manaea has allowed 16 hits in 36 2/3 innings, and opponents are hitting a mere .132 against him. Also, the no-hitter was his first career complete game and shutout.

Manaea's no-hitter is the first for the A's since Dallas Braden's perfect game on May 9, 2010. It is the seventh no-hitter in Oakland A's history and the 12th no-hitter in A's franchise history overall. (The Philadelphia A's had five. The Kansas City A's never had a no-hitter.)

Coincidentally enough, Manaea was interviewed on the field after the game by Braden, who provides field level analysis for NBC Sports California during A's broadcasts. The last two A's to throw a no-hitter were on the field together minutes after the final out was recorded. Pretty cool.

The Red Sox were last no-hit by current Detroit Tigers pitching coach Chris Bosio. He got them on April 22, 1993. Boston was no-hit almost 25 years to the day since they were last no-hit. 

Furthermore, the Red Sox had the second longest active streak of not being no-hit before Saturday. The A's, coincidentally enough, have the longest such streak. They haven't been no-hit since July 13, 1991. Four Baltimore Orioles pitchers no-hit the Athletics that day.

The A's originally acquired Manaea from the Kansas City Royals at the 2015 trade deadline in the Ben Zobrist deal. The Royals drafted him out of Indiana State with the 34th overall pick in the 2013 draft.

Prior to Saturday, MLB's last no-hitter belonged to Edinson Volquez, then of the Miami Marlins. He no-hit the Arizona Diamondbacks on June 3, 2017.

The A's scored their three runs Saturday on a Semien solo homer, and RBI doubles by Stephen Piscotty and Jed Lowrie, all against Chris Sale.

CBS Sports Writer

Mike Axisa joined CBS Sports in 2013. He has been a member of the BBWAA since 2015 and has previously written about both fantasy baseball and real life baseball for MLBTradeRumors.com, FanGraphs.com, RotoAuthority.com,... Full Bio

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