Orioles 1 at Blue Jays 10
Alek Manoah came out firing Saturday, and in turn the bats came out and jumped all over John Means.
After a quick popout to start the first, Manoah pulled out the top end velocity, hitting 96 on two straight pitches to strike out Ryan Mountcastle. He blew away Austin Hays with three straight sharp sliders to quickly end a perfect first inning.
That bats struck almost as quickly. George Springer lined the fourth of the game into left for a single, followed by Marcus Semien jumping on and smashing a first pitch fastball but right to short. The dust had barely settled on that when Vladimir Guerrero Jr. got a first pitch changeup right over the plate and absolutely destroyed it:
After Bo Bichette of all people saw almost as many pitches (five) as the first three batters combined (six) in flying out, Teoscar Hernandez flailed weakly at a first pitch curve before turning on an outside fastball and pulling it over the fence in left-centre. That made it 3-0 Jays, which turned out to be all the cushion they’d need.
Manoah was not as sharp in the second, his only poor inning and really the only time he seemed hittable the while game. Trey Mancini led off with a line drive double on a slider Manoah left out over the plate, moving to third on a flyout to the warning track that just stayed in the park as Manoah left an 0-2 fastball up over the plate. He scored on another smash, albeit on one hop right to Semien to make it 3-1.
The Jays got that back and more in the bottom of the bottom of the inning with another three spot. Santiago Espinal and Danny Jansen picked up where they left off yesterday with the former hitting another line drive single, and the latter jumping on a change-up and roping it to the wall down the left field line for a double. Randal Grichuk couldn’t cash either runout with a short flyout, but Springer did with a fly ball just over the left-centre wall to make it 6-1.
That cushion allowed Manoah to go into cruise control. After a hit-by-pitch to start the 4th inning, he set down the last 12 batters in order with seven coming on strikeouts (including the side to end the 7th). He finished his rookie campaign with 7 innings, 1 run on 1 hit with 10 strikeouts against a pair of free passes.
To their credit, the bats kept up the barrage while that was happening. Espinal doubled home Gurriel in the 3rd inning after he reached on a two out error. The Jays put up a third three spot in the 5th inning, with Bo Bichette leading off the inning with a home run, With two out, the Espinal-Jansen bottom of the order wrecking crew did one final job on the Orioles, with the former lining a third single and the latter hitting another ball out.
Beyond turning in a dominant outing in a much win game, Manoah’s outing also critically allows the bullpen to be rested heading into another must win game tomorrow. Ross Stripling finished the game with two shutout innings of his own, working around a single, and everyone else should be available.
Jays of the Day: Vladdy (+.170 WPA), Springer (+.142 WPA), Manoah (+.091 WPA). Also Jansen (+.074) and Espinal for big days at the plate (+.054) despite falling short of the mark.
Suckage: None. Grichuk had the low watermark at -.038 driven by the 2nd inning failure to bring home a run.
So, it all comes down to Game 162 tomorrow at 3:05 eastern, though it appears the Jays will need some help. The first step however will be finishing the season strong with Hyun-Jin Ryu facing Bruce Zimmerman.