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Photo Credit: © Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Alek Manoah leads the Blue Jays to their fifth straight win

Well, it wasn’t 28-5, but it was still a W.

The Jays were backed by yet another quality start from Alek Manoah, his 16th of the season, as they topped the struggling Red Sox 4-1.

Most of Toronto’s offense came in the third inning. Four straight hits to start the inning included RBI singles from Santiago Espinal and George Springer. Alejandro Kirk also chipped in a sacrifice fly later in the frame. Espinal’s RBI was heavily attributed to the Blue Jays putting Matt Chapman in a hit-and-run situation. Chapman took off from first base right as the pitch was delivered, and Espinal delivered a perfect hit into right field.

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That play was part of many “little things” the Jays did well today. More specifically, Bo Bichette made a sound defensive play in the 5th inning, diving for a ground ball, setting his feet, and retiring Christian Vazquez, who has been a pain in the Blue Jays’ side this series. Teoscar Hernandez doubled in pinch-runner Bradley Zimmer in the 9th inning, providing Toronto with a big insurance run. Zimmer ran for Alejandro Kirk, and he stole second base before Hernandez brought him home.

Today also marked the return of George Springer, who sat out last night’s game in order to continue resting his elbow. Springer contributed his aforementioned RBI single, and also made a jumping catch against the center field wall robbing Xander Bogaerts of an extra-base hit in the 3rd inning.

As mentioned earlier, the Jays got another big-time start from their ace (arguably), Alek Manoah. On a hot summer day (96° F at first pitch), Manoah pitched 6 innings, while giving up 7 hits, 1 run, 0 walks, and 7 strikeouts. He also shook off what looked like a potential injury in the second inning; he spiked a ball in front of the mound delivering a pitch to Bobby Dalbec.  It was unclear during the game what the issue was, but Manoah shook it off and continued to be the All-Star that we know he is.

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Manoah concluded his outing by striking out the side in the 6th inning. The final two of those strikeouts included some trash talking to Franchy Cordero and Dalbec. Manoah told them both to “sit the f**k down”, much to the disliking of both Cordero and Dalbec. In the next inning, Sportsnet panned to a clip of Jays manager John Schneider talking to Manoah in the dugout. Of course, we can only speculate as to what the conversation was, but given the circumstances, Schneider was probably calming Manoah down. Schneider’s point was getting across, as Manoah was vividly nodding his head in agreement, and taking in everything the interim skipper had for him.

From a fan’s perspective, I love Manoah letting opposing hitters know that they can’t mess with him, and it reminds me of another #6 in recent Jays history. Furthermore, it was encouraging to see Schneider have a personable relationship with one of his players and get his point across when he needed to.

Yimi Garcia, Adam Cimber, and Jordan Romano cleaned up the rest of the game out of the bullpen, and the Jays won their 5th game in a row.

Today’s win further showed that the Jays are kicking the Red Sox while they’re down; not only are they coming off of a historically bad loss, the BoSox were also playing without some of their better hitters today. 2B Trevor Story, DH JD Martinez, and 3B Rafael Devers were out today with respective injuries.

The Jays will look for the sweep with Ross Stripling on the mound. Multiple sources have the Rex Sox countering with young righty Brayan Bello.


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