Alek Manoah solid as Blue Jays extend winning streak to eight

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The Blue Jays, indeed, are in flight.

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The Jays ran their season-high winning streak to eight games with an 8-3 victory against the Chicago White Sox on Thursday afternoon at the Rogers Centre.

Alek Manoah improved to 6-1 on the season as the Jays completed a three-game sweep of the Sox to move 10 games over .500, improving to 30-20.

The Jays, who start a three-game home set against the Minnesota Twins on Friday, are riding their longest winning streak since they won eight in a row last September. 

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After allowing singles to Leury Garcia and Luis Robert to start the game, Manoah settled into a groove.

For the next 19 Sox batters, Manoah nearly was perfect. The lone blemish was a two-out walk to Gavin Sheets in the first. 

Manoah got the following 16 batters before Jose Abreu led off the seventh with a single. Manoah quickly snuffed that, getting Sheets to ground into a double play and then striking out Yasmani Grandal.

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Down 4-0, the Sox finally got to Manoah in the eighth. A double by Robert with two out scored two, and Manoah’s day was done. In came Adam Cimber in relief after Manoah departed to a standing ovation. Yoan Moncada singled off Cimber to score Robert, shortening the Jays’ lead to one run.

The Jays likely would have emerged from the inning unscathed, but second baseman Santiago Espinal was not quick to cover the bag when Garcia grounded to third baseman Matt Chapman with two out, and Chapman didn’t throw to first. As a result, Reese McGuire was safe at second. Robert then came up and doubled.

The Jays responded in the bottom of the eighth with four runs, all charged to reliever Reynaldo Lopez, courtesy of an RBI double by Cavan Biggio, a two-run single by Espinal and an RBI single by Bo Bichette.

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Before a crowd of 25,250 with the roof closed, Manoah went 7 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on six hits while striking out five and walking one.

After going 9-2 last season, Manoah hasn’t missed a stride in 2022. In his 30 career starts, the Jays are 23-7, and with the win on Thursday, the 24-year-old improved to 9-0 at home in his two seasons in the majors.

A couple of reasons for Manoah’s confidence and comfort so early in his career stand out for Jays manager Charlie Montoyo.

“His mindset is off the charts,” Montoyo said before the game. “They don’t teach that. He has it, you know? And he has good stuff.

“The one thing he did in the off-season was that he worked. He did not take it for granted — ‘I’m good, I can pitch in the big leagues.’ That was key.”

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The Jays haven’t lost since they fell in 10 innings in St. Louis against the Cardinals on May 23.

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“I love that we’re pitching well and catching the ball,” Montoyo said of his team’s healthy run of victories. “I’ve been talking about that since spring training. I said if we do that, we’re going to have a chance. And we have a chance, we’re doing that. 

“I know everybody talked about our offence, but in the big leagues you’ve got to pitch and catch it. I’m really happy that we’re doing that.”

Teoscar Hernandez connected for his third home run in the sixth, hitting the first pitch from White Sox starter Johnny Cueto (0-2) over the fence in left field. The two-run shot, which provided Toronto with a four-run lead, also scored Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who led off the inning with a double.

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The Jays scored their first run in the third and got another in the fifth. Raimel Tapia crossed the plate on both. 

In the third, Tapia led off with a double and scrambled to third base on a throwing error from right field by Sheets. Two batters later, Santiago Espinal grounded into a double play and Tapia scored.

In the fifth, Tapia was in pain after fouling a pitch off his right leg below the knee, but remained in the box and finished his at-bat. Tapia grounded into a forceout and raced around to score with two out when Espinal doubled on a liner to centre. 

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Hyun Jin Ryu went back on the 15-day injured list with inflammation in his left forearm, the Jays announced prior to the game. 

Ryu, who left the game against Chicago on Wednesday because of the injury, missed nearly a month with a similar issue before returning on May 14. 

Montoyo indicated that righthander Ross Stripling would get Ryu’s next start in the rotation. 

Ryu is 2-0 this season with a 5.33 earned-run average. 

Righthander Jeremy Beasley had his contract selected from triple-A Buffalo and was active for Thursday, but did not pitch.


Manoah’s 179 strikeouts, before Thursday, were the most in franchise history by a player in his first 29 career games. The previous record was 170, held by Juan Guzman … With Guerrero Jr. in the designated hitter spot, Biggio started at first base for the sixth time this season. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. was rested until he pinch-hit for Tapia in the eighth … George Springer wasn’t in the starting lineup for the second game in a row after coming down with a non-Covid illness. Springer, not quite back to 100%, was an option off the bench for Montoyo.

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