Blue Jays’ Manoah finishes Game 1 outing allowing four runs in 5.2 innings

Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Alek Manoah throws during the second inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals Tuesday, June 7, 2022, in Kansas City, Mo. (Charlie Riedel/AP)

Alek Manoah‘s highly anticipated post-season debut did not go as well as he might’ve hoped.

The Toronto Blue Jays ace and youngest pitcher in franchise history to start Game 1 of a post-season series allowed four runs over 5.2 innings Friday against the Seattle Mariners.

The runs started coming early. Manoah hit Mariners leadoff hitter Julio Rodriguez with a pitch to begin the game. After Rodriguez advanced to second base on the ensuing at-bat, Eugenio Suarez hit a double to bring the runner home: 1-0.

Then, with Suarez on base, Cal Raleigh took Manoah deep to right field, giving Seattle a 3-0 lead to end the first inning. Manoah finished the frame with 26 pitches thrown, and seemed unable to keep his fastball down throughout the inning.

In 16 starts at home this season, Manoah did not allow a single earned run in the first inning.

Manoah got out of the second inning unscathed, though he left two runners on and got his pitch count up to 43.

Manoah then went three-up, three-down in the third on only 11 pitches, seeming to find his groove, and kept that going through the fourth. But he didn’t get any run support.

Then in the fifth, he hit Rodriguez with a pitch again. Ty France followed up with a single to right field and Suarez reached on a fielder’s choice to bring Rodriguez in: 4-0.

Manoah got two out in the sixth before manager John Schneider decided to pull him at 79 pitches.

The 24-year-old was red-hot entering the outing, recently named MLB’s American League pitcher of the month for September.

Manoah posted an ERA of 0.88 in the month — a single-month club record — in 41 innings of work. The 24-year-old allowed 23 hits and 12 walks over that span, with 33 strikeouts. He went 4-0 in six starts, with one of those no-decisions also resulting in a win for the team.

The right-hander bounced back from a mediocre month of August, where he went 1-2, with two no-decisions that wound up being losses. He went 16-7 on the year with a 2.24 and a WAR rating of 6.0.

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