Alek Manoah of the Blue Jays is simply wonderful in the loss to Boston


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The Blue Jays may have seen the last of Alek Manoah as the team entered its final home fight before the start of the postseason.

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Whether the Blue Jays are home in the wild three series or somewhere down the road is yet to be determined.

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What was made very clear was that Manoah needs to be on the mound when the playoffs start.

If needed, Manoah is lined up to pitch in the final game of the season, with the key word being needed.

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If the final in Baltimore has any on-field repercussions, turning to Manoah is a no-brainer.

The hope is that the home pitch will be off the hook soon, with Manoah a breeze to start baseball’s second season.

It was wonderful Friday night when the Boston Red Sox came to town.

Manoah didn’t exactly steal the show, but he showed why he’s Toronto’s staff ace by leading the Jays to a 9-0 win at Rogers Centre.

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In five innings, Manoah threw 83 pitches, including 51 for strikes.

In the sixth, leadoff Jarren Duran hit a single with a broken bat to center. Manoah then put Rafael Devers on the ground in a double play. The round ended with a soft hit on the ground by Xander Bogaerts.

It turns out that was the end of the line for Manoah, who got some well-deserved congratulatory handshakes in the dugout.

His pitching line showed 96 pitches, four strikeouts, two walks and two hits on an impressive Jays night that would see them record three home runs.

Boston had its first base runner in the running position in the top half of the fourth inning, which began when Manoah delivered a free pass to Devers.

A wild pitch would get Devers forward, but he would get stuck after JD Martinez retired to second to end the inning.

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Simply put, Manoah was wonderful on the mound.

In the fifth, he induced a grounder to Abraham Almonte. Manoah was slow to get off the mound and couldn’t even throw the pitch at first.

Almonte reached base as Boston recorded its first hit against Manoah on a single to the right side of the infield.

The way Manoah fared, an infield single was considered a rally.

Once again, the Red Sox would finish an inning without scoring a run.


Vladimir Guerrero Jr. beat one of his carded stalwarts in the third inning, a two-run outburst that gave the home team a 4-0 lead.

For Vlad Jr., it was his 31st longball of the season to drive in his 94th and 95th races of the season.

Though a far cry from last year’s 48-home run campaign, a hard-hitting Vlad Jr. heading into the playoffs will go a long way in determining how far Toronto can make a run.

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Friday’s bombshell was Vlad Jr.’s first home run since Sept. 21 when the Jays were in Philadelphia.

He ended September with four homers.


George Springer didn’t waste much time getting on base.

On the first pitch he saw from Boston starter Nick Pivetta, Toronto’s leadoff batter hit a center shot for a single.

Up stepped up Bo Bichette.

On the second pitch Bichette saw, he hit a left single.

Springer and Bichette both advanced on a passed ball.

Springer would come back to score the first point of the game on a groundout by
Alejandro Kirk, who hit cleanup.

In the eighth inning, Bichette hit in his 47th inning of September to tie Tony Fernandez and Lloyd Moseby for the most in any calendar month in franchise history.

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The Jays entered the field knowing they had already clinched a playoff berth when Boston beat Baltimore on Thursday night.

The plan, according to interim manager John Schneider, was for the team to celebrate their achievement regardless of Friday night’s result.

« I think every time you have a chance to do it, you have to embrace it, » Schneider said before the launch. « It doesn’t happen all the time and I can’t wait to have a great time with this group. »

For Bichette, who watched the Red Sox defeat the Orioles with teammate Santiago Espinal, the Jays have every right to bask in the glow of a playoff appearance.

“All the hard work paid off,” he said. “We invested a lot and had high expectations of ourselves and we were able to accomplish that.

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« There is still work to be done, obviously, and we expect more, but we absolutely have to take advantage of it. »


As part of the team’s acknowledgment and thanks to honor the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, a minute of silence was observed.

The Survivor Flag was displayed throughout the Rogers Center to honor survivors and all lives touched by the residential school system.

The anthem was performed in Blackfoot, English and French.


Kirk was behind the plate in the series opener as Manoah’s unofficial personal catcher.

In fact, there’s only been one time Kirk hasn’t been Manoah’s drum mate this season when the big right-hander was on the mound.

The pitcher-catcher combo seems to be working, and there doesn’t seem to be any discernable reason the Blue Jays would deviate from that pattern once the postseason begins.

Danny Jansen, Toronto’s other receiver, was also on the lineup in the rare DH role.

Jansen hit eighth in the order.

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