BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP)Alek Manoah, back from a five-game suspension, struck out a career-high 10 over seven scoreless innings of three-hit ball for the Toronto Blue Jays in their 11-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday night.
George Springer, Marcus Semien and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. homered for Toronto, which has won nine of 12. Semien, elected an All-Star starter Thursday, scored three times.
Manoah (2-0) allowed only Francisco Mejia’s bloop double with one out in the sixth and then clean singles by Wander Franco and Joey Wendle in the seventh. The 23-year-old rookie also walked Ji-Man Choi in the first.
”In the sixth, when Grich (Randal Grichuk) missed that ball and everybody started clapping, I thought, what are they clapping at? He missed it,” Manoah said, grinning. ”I had no clue what was going on. Then I looked up at the scoreboard and thought, oh, that would have been cool.
”I was in a good rhythm tonight. I was able to attack and get ahead first pitch and let the defense work behind me.”
Luis Patino (1-2), fresh off 17 straight shutout innings at Triple-A Durham, was tagged for six runs in the first two innings but settled down to retire 10 consecutive batters before allowing a sixth-inning run.
He struck out five and yielded seven hits and a walk for Tampa Bay, which dropped its fourth straight overall and ninth in a row on the road.
”Even though you may not start as well as you want, you still have to finish well,” said Patino, optioned back to Durham after the game. ”Give credit to their hitters for barreling some of those balls. I tried to keep my confidence, even though the results weren’t quite there.”
Mejia finished with two doubles and Brandon Lowe had an RBI double in the eighth as the Rays spoiled Toronto’s shutout bid.
Manoah was suspended by Major League Baseball after being ejected from a June 19 start at Baltimore, but appealed it and pitched last Friday in a rematch against the Orioles. He dropped his appeal Saturday.
”It’s kind of like putting a plate of food in front of somebody and telling them they can’t eat it for seven days,” Manoah said. ”I was just really hungry to get back out there.”
Springer hit his fourth homer, a two-run shot to straightaway center field, in the first. One inning later, Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Reese McGuire, Guerrero and Semien all had RBIs as Toronto rallied for four more runs and jumped out to a 6-0 lead.
In the seventh, Semien led off with his 21st homer and Guerrero added his 27th to plate two runs and tie Boston’s Rafael Devers for the American League RBI lead with 69. The figure also matches Guerrero’s personal high from 2019.
Tampa Bay outfielder Brett Phillips pitched the eighth inning and allowed one run.
Toronto lefty Nick Allgeyer made his big league debut, pitching a perfect ninth.
PROUD AS PAPAS
The day after three Blue Jays were voted by fans into the starting lineup for the American League in the July 13 All-Star Game, manager Charlie Montoyo was beaming with pride.
”I feel like a dad, when your kids do something right,” Montoyo said about the selection of Guerrero, Semien and Teoscar Hernandez. ”I’m so happy for them. I know it was a voting deal, but they all earned it. Their numbers are amazing, and they all deserve to be there.”
Meanwhile, Rays manager Kevin Cash was happy that two Rays minor leaguers – Durham right-handers Shane Baz and Joe Ryan – were chosen for the U.S. Olympic roster.
”They’re both pitchers we think really highly of,” Cash said. ”For them to go represent your country, that’s pretty special. We’re proud as an organization of both of them.”
Rays: Cash said RHPs Chris Archer (right lateral forearm tightness) and Oliver Drake (right flexor tendon strain) threw live batting practice in Port Charlotte, Florida, and are scheduled to do the same next Tuesday.
Blue Jays: RHP Tyler Chatwood (neck strain) was placed on the 10-day IL. RHP Patrick Murphy was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo, and two pitchers – Allgeyer and righty Anthony Castro – were recalled from Triple-A. … Montoyo said Danny Jansen (hamstring) and Alejandro Kirk (hip flexor) would split the catching duties Friday for Triple-A Buffalo in a doubleheader against Lehigh Valley. In the first game, Jansen went 1 for 4 and RHP Rafael Dolis (finger) worked a shutout inning to begin his rehab assignment.
Tampa Bay sends LHP Shane McClanahan (3-2, 4.09 ERA) to the mound against RHP Ross Stripling (3-4, 4.27) in the middle game of the series Saturday.
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