The Red Sox entered play Saturday with the majors’ best record (17-2), the majors’ most runs (123) and the majors’ top triple-slash line (.293/.361/.497). None of that fazed Athletics left-hander Sean Manaea, who no-hit the Red Sox over nine innings of 10-strikeout, two-walk ball to become the first hurler to accomplish the feat this year. It’s the seventh no-hitter in Athletics history and the first for the franchise since Dallas Braden tossed a perfect game against Tampa Bay in May 2010. And remarkably, it occurred on nearly the 25th-year anniversary of the last time the Red Sox were on the wrong end of a no-hitter. Back on April 22, 1993, Chris Bosio of the Mariners held the Sox out of the hit column.
- In better news for the Red Sox, shortstop Xander Bogaerts could return as early as Friday, Sean McAdam of BostonSportsJournal.com was among those to report (Twitter link). Bogaerts, who went on the disabled list April 9 with a cracked bone in his left ankle, is set to play a pair of rehab games with Triple-A Pawtucket on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Red Sox have won nine of 11 without Bogaerts, which is all the more impressive when considering he got off to an otherworldly start (.368/.400/.711 in 40 plate appearances) before landing on the DL.
- Meanwhile, teammate Tyler Thornburg is “still a ways away from the majors,” Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe tweets. But the reliever, who has been pitching in extended spring training, will rejoin the Red Sox during their upcoming homestand (beginning April 27) and could throw batting practice, per Abraham. Thornburg remains on the mend from the thoracic outlet syndrome surgery he underwent last summer. The righty hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2016, when he was among the game’s premier relievers as a member of the Brewers.
- Rays righty Yonny Chirinos is now a full-fledged member of their rotation, manager Kevin Cash told Bill Chastain of MLB.com and other reporters Saturday. Tampa Bay opened the season with an unconventional three-man starting staff (Chris Archer, Blake Snell and Jake Faria), with Chirinos among those working as a “Bullpen Day” starter, but it saw enough from him during his first few outings to officially make it a four-man group. The 24-year-old has tallied 20 innings of 2.70 ERA/3.49 FIP ball in four appearances thus far. After throwing 50-some pitches in each of his first two games, Chiirnos racked up 75 and 89, respectively, in the previous two. He’s now stretched out enough to get into the 100 range, per Cash, and will start Sunday against Minnesota.
- Chirinos will face Twins righty Phil Hughes, whom the team has reinstated from the disabled list. The Twins optioned outfielder Gabriel Moya to Triple-A to make room for Hughes, who had been on the shelf with a strained oblique. The 31-year-old Hughes hasn’t pitched in a big league game since July 14, 2017, thanks to the thoracic outlet syndrome revision surgery he underwent in August. At $13.2MM per year through next season, Hughes is one of the Twins’ highest-paid players, though he has struggled mightily since a sensational 2014 with the team. When he was healthy enough to pitch last season, Hughes logged a 5.87 ERA with a meager 30.7 percent groundball rate over 53 2/3 innings (14 appearances, seven starts).