OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Sean Manaea glanced to second base, his no-hit bid gone, and made eye contact with Mike Brosseau.
“I gave him a little side eye, like of course it was you,” Manaea said.
Yes, Manaea’s old high school pal and teammate delivered the double leading off the eighth inning for Tampa Bay to break up the lefty’s quest for a second career no-hitter, then Seth Brown hit a game-ending homer as the Oakland Athletics beat the Rays 2-1 on Friday night.
“It was definitely something there, a little smirk, a little back and forth,” Brosseau said. “I would hope to think if there was a guy to break it up he would want it to be me.”
Manaea fell short of pitching baseball’s second no-hitter of the night after follow fellow lefty Wade Miley’s gem for Cincinnati at Cleveland.
Manaea and Brosseau were teammates at Andrean High in Merrillville, Indiana. They typically get together for team reunions each offseason.
“That’s just how it works out. It’s crazy. I can’t even put it in words that he was the guy to get a hit, but he smoked it so good for him,” Manaea said. “… I have the utmost respect for him.”
Brown’s pinch-hit RBI single broke up a scoreless game in the bottom of the seventh then Tampa Bay chased Manaea.
Brown delivered again facing Jeffrey Springs (2-1).
Jake Diekman (2-0) recorded two outs in the ninth for the win.
Mike Zunino came through with tying single after Brosseau’s hit. Then, after Kevin Kiermaier’s called third stirke, Manaea gave way to reliever Yusemeiro Petit.
Manaea, who threw a no-hitter April 21, 2018, against Boston, fist pumped after his strikeouts — 10 in all to match his career high — and did a little walk off the mound to gather himself between batters. He allowed just those two hits and the walk while throwing 81 pitches over 7 1/3 innings.
The 29-year-old Manaea didn’t allow a baserunner until Randy Arozarena drew a leadoff walk in the seventh, when right fielder Stephen Piscotty later made a great catch on the warning track on Brandon Lowe’s sharp flyball.
The quest by Manaea came two years to the day after teammate Mike Fiers pitched his second career no-hitter against the Reds in Oakland — and on Mother’s Day 11 years ago A’s left-hander Dallas Braden through a perfect game against Tampa Bay here at home.
Manaea dazzled in a pitcher’s duel with Rich Hill, who didn’t allow a run in six innings against his former club before the A’s got to Andrew Kittredge.
“Starters might not have their best command right away. Both these guys seemed to,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “As the game went along it felt like the first team that scored might have a pretty good chance to win. It ended up a little bit more dramatic at the end. Sean ended up giving up a couple hits but we’ve seen him really good at times, including the no-hitter and I think it’s probably the same stuff he had tonight as he did when he threw the no-hitter — maybe even a little better early on.”
For the soft-spoken lefty, finishing this one might have helped ease the sting of losing the 2019 AL wild card game to the Rays in their last visit to the Oakland Coliseum.
He has grown from that experience, noting, “That moment is always going to be with me.”
The hardest hit ball early came on Manuel Margot’s groundout to third in the fourth inning that traveled at 92 mph.
“Let’s go, Manaea!” fans among the crowd of 5,058 yelled.
This win certainly came at a good time for the defending AL West champion A’s after they were outscored 19-8 over their final two games by Toronto.
The Rays were coming off a four-game sweep of the Angels and had their winning streak snapped at five, which matched their season-best unbeaten run.
Hill went 9-3 in 14 starts for the A’s in 2016 before being dealt to the Dodgers at the trade deadline.
Oakland faced a sixth straight left-handed starter and saw a southpaw for the eighth time in nine games and 11th in 14.
This marked the fifth of seven meetings between the clubs in a two-week span after they split a four-game set in Tampa last week.
Rays: C Francisco Mejía was scratched because of discomfort in his left side but it wasn’t considered serious. “We anticipate right now it will be a very minor thing,” manager Kevin Cash said beforehand.
Athletics: OF Chad Pinder (sprained left knee) ran the bases among his on-field baseball work and still could go on a rehab assignment as soon as this weekend. … Ramón Laureano got a break from playing center field to be the designated hitter.
RHP Tyler Glasnow (4-1, 2.06 ERA) pitches for Tampa Bay opposite Oakland righty Frankie Montas (3-2, 5.87).
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