Instant Reaction: Alek Manoah had his best start in over a year, but the bats went cold as the Blue Jays fell 5-1

Photo credit:© Dan Hamilton - USA Today
Ryley Delaney
2 months ago
After the Blue Jays bats were on fire on Saturday, they once again went cold on Sunday.
The Blue Jays have now lost five consecutive series (aside from a two-game series split), as they fell 5-1 to the Minnesota Twins on Sunday in the rubber match. They could muster just two hits despite Alek Manoah’s best performance since the 2022 season.
Heading into the top of the seventh, the two teams were deadlocked at zero with just two hits. However, Max Kepler reached on an error, and Willi Castro hit a single to give the Twins their first runner in scoring position. A ground out gave the Jays two outs, but Carlos Santana hit his seventh home run of the season, his third of the series, giving the Twins a 3-0 lead.
The Jays made it a close game in the bottom half of the seventh, as they loaded the bases with one out, but they only scored one run with a Danny Jansen sac fly before Isiah Kiner-Falefa struck out to end the inning.
Toronto’s hope for a comeback was dashed in the top of the eighth, as Erik Swanson allowed a single and even got the second out before a walk and a double made it a 5-1 game, giving us today’s final score.

Things worth mentioning…

This was Alek Manoah’s best start in over a year. The last time he had a start this strong was when he pitched seven innings on April 22, 2023 against the Yankees with just two hits allowed. On Sunday, he finished with a line of 7 IP, 4 H, 0 ER (3 R), 1 BB, 6 K with a home run given up. His season ERA stands at 4.91, which is a very encouraging sign.
Erik Swanson’s struggles continued, as he gave up two earned runs in an inning pitched, bringing his season ERA to 14.04. All the Jays and their fanbase can hope is that he’ll turn it around soon.
Nate Pearson pitched a clean outing with two strikeouts to bring his season ERA to 5.14. Despite the loss, the Jays only needed three pitchers, leaving their bullpen relatively rested heading into the series against the Baltimore Orioles on Monday.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. had one of two base hits for the Jays on Sunday, with the other one coming from Bo Bichette. Guerrero Jr. also made a nice play at first base and did a cartwheel. Can’t go without mentioning that.
This is now five consecutive series losses in a series with three or more games. They haven’t outright won a series since the April 19-21 series against the San Diego Padres, and split the two-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies. Toronto’s record now sits at 18-22, yikes.
Up next: It doesn’t get any easier for the Blue Jays, as they’ll head to Baltimore to face the Orioles in a three-game series. Game 1 comes on Monday, with José Berríos getting the ball against Corbin Burnes.

As always, you can follow me on Twitter @Ryley_L_D.

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