The Skid Against the Sox is Over: Home runs from five players, Alek Manoah’s strongest start of 2023 propels Blue Jays to commanding win
Photo credit:© Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports
By Evan Stack1 month ago
There was a plethora of storylines heading into tonight’s series opener against the Boston Red Sox. The Blue Jays just completed a rather disheartening series against the Orioles, they were facing James Paxton (7 2/3 innings, no runs allowed versus Toronto on June 30), and they had not beaten the Red Sox all season long.
Toronto answered the call on all of those narratives and some, hitting five homers and getting a solid start from Alek Manoah as they downed the Red Sox 6-3 to collect their first win over Boston this season. Boston is looking to chase Toronto down in the AL East and Wild Card standings, so the Blue Jays rising to the occasion in a critical series like this is very encouraging.
Things worth mentioning
I’d be a fool if I didn’t lead off with Davis Schneider, the 24-year-old rookie who played in his first MLB game tonight after being called up yesterday afternoon. Hoping to provide a boost to Toronto’s underachieving offence, Schneider wasted zero time proving his impact. In the top of the second inning, Schneider launched a solo home run over the Green Monster in left field off an 83 mph cutter from James Paxton. For the night, Schneider was 2-for-5 with the aforementioned home run and an infield single in the seventh inning.
As the title reads, Toronto hit a few more home runs as well. Before Schneider’s homer, Whit Merrifield and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. had solo home runs of their own in the first inning, with Merrifield’s coming on the first pitch of the game.
Daulton Varsho and Matt Chapman rounded out the home run party with long balls in the sixth and ninth inning respectively. For Varsho, that was his first home run since June 17th in Texas. In another “long time coming” stat, George Springer had an RBI double tonight, his first extra-base hit since July 16th against the Diamondbacks. Paxton stayed in the zone for much of the night, and the Blue Jays didn’t miss their pitches. Hilariously enough though, the Blue Jays finished 0-for-7 with RISP.
Alek Manoah put together a great start on the mound tonight. He threw 6.2 innings allowing six hits, three runs, two walks, and five strikeouts. At least from my perspective, it was Manoah’s slider effectiveness that made this start stand out from the rest. He used it a ton on the first pitch when facing lefties, a huge contributor to him throwing first-pitch strikes to 21 out of 27 batters faced. He got six whiffs on his slider, as well as seven called strikes. Manoah’s only kryptonite was Jarren Duran, the only Red Sox hitter to have more than one hit off of him.
What’s Next: Toronto sends Jose Berrios to the mound tomorrow with the Jays looking to win their second straight game. No starter has been announced for Boston yet.
Recent articles from Evan Stack