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Sports Manoah delivers again for Blue Jays ahead of pivotal homestand

08:55  27 september  2021
08:55  27 september  2021 Source:   sportsnet.ca

Guerrero Jr., Bichette homer, Manoah dominates as Blue Jays dump Rays 8-1

  Guerrero Jr., Bichette homer, Manoah dominates as Blue Jays dump Rays 8-1 TORONTO — Vladimir Guerrero Jr., hit his 45th home run of the season, Teoscar Hernandez had a career-high five hits and Alek Manoah was dominant over eight innings as the Toronto Blue Jays dumped the Tampa Bay Rays 8-1 on Monday night. Toronto scored four runs in the fourth and tacked on three more in the fifth inning. In the sixth, Guerrero belted a 3-1 pitch just inside the left-field foul pole to move into sole possession of the big-league home run lead ahead of Angels slugger Shohei Ohtani. Bo Bichette also hit a solo homer and Hernandez scored twice. The bottom third of Toronto's order -- Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Randal Grichuk and Breyvic Valera - had three hits apiece.

7of15Toronto Blue Jays ' Alek Manoah delivers a pitch during the second inning of the first game of a baseball doubleheader against the New York Yankees Thursday, May 27, 2021, in New York. The Blue Jays won 2-0.Frank Franklin II/APShow MoreShow Less. A 23-year-old right-hander selected 11th in the 2019 amateur draft, Manoah (1-0) was brought up after throwing only 35 professional innings in the minor leagues. His mother Susana, wearing a white Blue Jays jersey with her son’s name on the back, was part of a cheering section that stood out among the sparse crowd for the late-afternoon start and

Manoah (3-1) earned the win Saturday versus Kansas City after giving up two hits and a walk with four strikeouts over seven shutout innings. Manoah made his first start since July 9 after dealing with a back injury and surrendered only a pair of singles to the Royals. The right-hander hasn't allowed an earned run in three of his past four outings and has a 0.76 ERA, 0.80 WHIP and 29:7 K:BB across 23.3 innings during that stretch. Blue Jays ' Alek Manoah : Activated for Saturday's start. 13H ago • by RotoWire Staff.

MINNEAPOLIS – About 30 minutes before first pitch Sunday, Alek Manoah bounded up the dugout stairs at Target Field, made his way past the Twins’ mascot and headed for the outfield to prepare for a game with significant implications for the Toronto Blue Jays.

blue-jays-manoah-twins © Provided by Sportsnet blue-jays-manoah-twins

All of 18 games into his big-league career, the 23-year-old has far less pro experience than most pitchers entrusted with games this meaningful, but at some point during the last four months, he made the leap from unproven rookie to trusted big-game starter. And so nothing about the task ahead of Manoah seemed out of place as he headed for left-centre field with Airpods in and blue socks pulled up just below the knee.

How these surging Blue Jays stack up against the 2015 squad

  How these surging Blue Jays stack up against the 2015 squad There are plenty of differences between the 2021 Toronto Blue Jays and their fondly-remembered 2015 counterparts, but the comparison is inevitable. While the next 16 games could change the tale of this year’s Blue Jays drastically, for now they share a number of story beats with the 2015 club. Both squads approached the trade deadline with an intimidating group of position players, a strong rotation, a wobbly bullpen, and an impressive run differential — indicating their record didn’t reflect their talent. Both made significant moves around the deadline (although the 2015 team undoubtedly went farther).

Blue Jays left-fielder Teoscar Hernandez, in his second season as a full-time player, misplayed a Jonathan Schoop liner in the second inning. Castro took the next pitch deep for his fourth homer of the season. Toronto has shown flashes of solid play over the first five weeks of the regular season. But last week’s 1-5 road trip was ugly at times and the team had little zip Monday in the opener of a six-game homestand . Freddy Galvis stroked Toronto’s first hit of the game in the fourth inning and Justin Smoak walked ahead of Guerrero, briefly stirring the announced crowd of 12,292.

His departure left the Blue Jays somewhat short-handed, but can’t be considered a complete surprise, either. With extensive experience and a track record of success, Cherington was bound to draw interest as a GM. Some in the industry consider Sanders a future GM candidate, too. The 2018 draft yielded Jordan Groshans, who seemed poised for a breakout 2019 season before a left foot injury sidelined him, along with second rounder Griffin Conine and third rounder Adam Kloffenstein. More recently, Sanders’ 2019 draft produced Alek Manoah , Kendall Williams and Dasan Brown, among others.

“There’s no need to do too much. Just stay within the routine. Stay with what’s been working,” Manoah said. “(But) every time I take the mound, in my head it’s a must-win game.”

By holding the Twins to just two runs over 5.2 innings of work Sunday afternoon, Manoah continued to show he’s capable of delivering results in big games on the way to a 5-2 win that earns the Blue Jays a series split in Minneapolis and adds intrigue to the final six games of the season.

Now 87-69, the Blue Jays are assured of gaining a full game in the standings on either the Yankees or the Red Sox, who play one another Sunday night in Boston. By night’s end, Toronto will trail one of their AL East rivals by just 1.0 game and the other by 2.0, setting up a memorable final week of the season that begins Tuesday when the Yankees visit Rogers Centre.

Blue Jays miraculously occupy playoff spot after another series win

  Blue Jays miraculously occupy playoff spot after another series win TORONTO — Consistency breeds confidence, which in turn is breeding respect. And the respect was visible when Josh Donaldson exchanged jerseys with Vladimir Guerrero Jr. after the Toronto Blue Jays' 5-3 win over Donaldson's Minnesota Twins on Sunday. This series win — the seventh in a row for the Jays — seemed like yet another guarantee that this team refuses to be overlooked. "I think that respect (from other teams) comes from the way we are in our dugout," said Guerrero Jr., in Spanish, after Sunday's win. "We're always together, trying to cheer on our teammates, whether it's the pitcher or the batter, you know.

The Blue Jays need to take care of business against the Twins this weekend. (Photo by Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images). Welcome to Blue Jays Wild Card Watch, a daily snapshot of where Toronto stands in relation to its rivals in the playoff race. Each morning we'll briefly recap the previous night's action and tee up what comes next. The Toronto Blue Jays dropped the opener of their set with the Minnesota Twins on Thursday while also losing Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (hand) and Thomas Hatch (hamstring) to injury.

The Yankees destroyed the Blue Jays tonight.Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post. “We’re starting to play well, getting healthy and playing with a lot of confidence again ,’’ Aaron Boone said. “We’ll take our chances.” “We want to play at Yankee Stadium and the top spot is still in reach,’’ Voit said.

"We love playing with each other. We believe in each other. And we think we’re the best team in baseball," Manoah said. "We’re going to go into that series and give it all we’ve got and try and come out on top."

“It’s huge,” added catcher Danny Jansen. “Going to 30,000 fans in Toronto and finishing our last six games at home, it’s massive. It’s going to be great.”

Manoah kept the Twins off-balance all afternoon, mixing in hard sliders and four-seam fastballs to induce plenty of weak contact. He struck out eight while allowing six hits and throwing 102 pitches, the hardest of which was clocked at 95 m.p.h. on the radar gun.

“The way he goes about it, he doesn’t ever seem like a rookie," Jansen said. "He goes out there and competes. He’s an ultimate competitor. He never gives in … he’s a bulldog.”

After Sunday, Manoah’s season ERA sits at 3.35 in 104.2 innings making him a legitimate Rookie of the Year candidate. More importantly, he’s a pitcher the Blue Jays can continue to rely on as the games take on added meaning. His next start will come against the Baltimore Orioles on the final weekend of the season, and following that, team decision makers would have zero hesitation about using him in a playoff series.

Jays make more tickets available for final homestand, hoping for capacity increase

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For the Blue Jays to reach the playoffs, they’ll need more from some of their struggling hitters, but thanks to Ray they didn’t need all that much offence Saturday. The left-hander held the Twins to just one run over the course of six innings while walking four and allowing three hits. In the meantime, the Blue Jays have one more game against the Twins Sunday while the Yankees and Red Sox face off once again at Fenway Park. For starter Alek Manoah , arguably the biggest start of his career awaits.

This Saturday marks the beginning of a three-game homestand for the Aggies at Kyle Field. Playing at Kyle Field over the next month could catapult A&M forward if it can notch wins over the likes of Mississippi State, UTSA and South Carolina. Even though there is a favorable outlook for A&M, the Aggies are cautious to look ahead in order to avoid stumbling at home . “That’s where being in this conference is so dangerous,” sophomore linebacker Anthony Hines III, a Plano East product, said. “We have to be focused on Mississippi State or if you overlook any opponent it can bite you.”

“He’s not nervous. He likes pitching in the big-leagues. He’s got good stuff and we have a chance every time he takes the mound," manager Charlie Montoyo said. "And you know what? We forget he’s a rookie because he’s pitching like an older guy.”

Offensively, the Blue Jays don’t look unstoppable anymore, but they’re scoring enough. They got started in the second inning when Jansen followed bloop hits from Corey Dickerson and Santiago Espinal with a three-run home run. Since returning from the injured list on Aug. 31, he has four home runs with an OPS over 1.100.

"My power’s always been to the pull side," Jansen said. "So I think it’s just me embracing that."

Three innings later, George Springer hit a solo home run – his second in as many games after struggling for much of September. Springer, who started at DH Sunday after playing consecutive games in centre field, also singled twice and walked on his way to his first three-hit game since Aug. 4.

In the eighth inning, a Teoscar Hernandez RBI double provided the bullpen with a little added breathing room, but they didn’t end up needing it. Tim Mayza and Adam Cimber both pitched scoreless innings before Jordan Romano entered and recorded a four-out save.

Now, even bigger tests await the Blue Jays, a team looking to build on last year, when they made the playoffs during the pandemic-shortened season only to be swept by the Rays in the first round.

After a brief stint on the injured list with a neck issue, Hyun Jin Ryu will return to the rotation Tuesday, to be followed by Jose Berrios and Robbie Ray. Meanwhile, Lourdes Gurriel Jr.’s availability for the Yankees series remains in question after the left fielder got two stitches on his throwing hand in Minneapolis.

“It’ll be a day to day deal, but the deal is it’s a big cut where he grabs his bat, so we’ll see," Montoyo said.

With the series split, the Blue Jays have officially finished up the road portion of a season that sometimes felt like one long road trip. Next up, a flight home and a week that will either end in bitter disappointment or lead to a hard-earned playoff berth.

Blue Jays GM Ross Atkins on re-signing Ray, Semien: 'That dialogue will be constant' .
TORONTO — Conversations will be "constant," but nothing is certain. Toronto Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins made that clear in his end-of-season media availability on Wednesday when fielding questions about the possibility of bringing back star free agents Marcus Semien and Robbie Ray. Ray and Semien emerged as two of the most coveted names in free agency, with Cy Young and MVP-worthy seasons, respectively, during the Blue Jays' 91-winToronto Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins made that clear in his end-of-season media availability on Wednesday when fielding questions about the possibility of bringing back star free agents Marcus Semien and Robbie Ray.

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