Sean Manaea's no-hitter and Puerto Rican games: the baseball rundown
As part of Major League Baseball’s program to grow the game of baseball around the world, the Minnesota Twins and the Cleveland Indians met in Puerto Rico on April 18 for a very specialtwo-game series.
This is the latest in a series of games played outside of the mainland United States. Major League teams have also played in places such as Tokyo, and Sydney.
Puerto Rico itself is no stranger to these sorts of games as they previously hosted the opening series between the Toronto Blue Jays and Texas Rangers in 2001.
This series, however, felt particularly special, since it was the first event after Hurricane Maria ravaged the island in September 2017.
The historic Hiram Bithorn Stadium had a playoff atmosphere for the matchup between the Twins and the Indians. Former Cy Young Award-winner Corey Kluber was up against right-hander Jake Odorizzi who got the ball for the home team.
Kluber was dominant striking out six in 6.2 innings while only allowing one run.
The hits came early and often for the Indians, who hammered out 12 hits and four home runs off Minnesota pitching, including a memorable home run by native Puerto Rican shortstop Francisco Lindor that brought everyone in attendance to their feet.
Fans who were in attendance the next night got a game that was worth the price of admission.
Another native son, Twins' ace José Berríos, faced off with Indians right-hander Carlos Carrasco.
Both pitching staffs put up scoreless frames until the 14th inning, when the Indians finally got on the scoreboard with a home run by designated hitter Edwin Encarnación.
The lead would last until the bottom of the 14th, when the Twins drew even on a solo home run by third baseman Miguel Sanó.
In the bottom of the 16th, after five hours of play, the Twins finally secured the victory when center fielder Ryan LaMarre drove in Eddie Rosario with a single for the 2-1 Minnesota win.
The last thing anyone in attendance for the April 21 game between the Boston Red Sox and Oakland Athletics expected was to witness history, yet that was what they saw as left-hander Sean Manaea put his name in the history books with a no-hitter for Oakland.
Manaea’s feat is even more impressive, considering the Red Sox entered the game on an eight-game winning streak while enjoying a 17-2 start to the season — the best start to a season since the 1987 Milwaukee Brewers.
The Red Sox also appeared to have the advantage on the mound as the Athletics would have to face left-hander Chris Sale, the runner-up to the 2017 American League Cy Young Award.
Sale was the first to blink in the Athletics’ half of the first, as he served up a double scoring run to second baseman Jed Lowrie to give Oakland the early 1-0 advantage.
The A’s tallied another run in the third inning when right-fielder Stephen Piscotty ripped a double run of his own to increase the lead to 2-0.
Shortstop Marcus Semien capped the scoring in the fifth inning when he hit a home run over the wall in left field for a 3-0 lead.
A three-run lead was all Manaea would need, as he baffled and frustrated the Red Sox through the first eight innings.
In the ninth inning, designated hitter Hanley Ramírez was the last obstacle between Manaea and baseball history.
On a 2-0 pitch Manaea got Ramírez to ground out to shortstop and the celebration began at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.
Manaea’s no-hitter was the seventh no-hitter in Oakland Athletics history and the 297th overall in MLB history.