The Toronto Blue Jays hope that rookie right-hander Alek Manoah can avoid controversy this time when he faces the visiting Baltimore Orioles for his second straight start Friday night at Buffalo.
Manoah was ejected in the fourth inning on June 19 at Baltimore when he hit Maikel Franco with a pitch after allowing two straight home runs. The benches emptied, but no punches were thrown.
As a result, Manoah was suspended for five games, and Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo was suspended for one game. Montoyo has served his suspension, and Manoah has appealed his, which means he is available to pitch the second game of the four-game series on Friday.
“I tried to get that fastball in, and it slipped away,” Manoah said after that game. “I was kind of confused at his reaction and was questioning what’s going on. Those were my hand gestures as I was walking towards him. I was trying to figure out what was going on.”
Manoah (1-0, 4.18 ERA) will face Orioles right-hander Matt Harvey (3-9, 7.80).
Manoah was making his fifth career major league start when he allowed five runs and four hits (all homers) at Baltimore in 3 1/3 innings.
The Blue Jays came back to win the game 10-7 with a six-run ninth inning that has started a season-best winning streak that reached five games with Thursday’s 9-0 victory over the Orioles. The loss started a losing streak for the Orioles that has reached six games. They have lost 14 of 15.
The Orioles also have lost 20 straight road games.
Harvey allowed four earned runs and nine hits in 4 1/3 innings Sunday in a 7-4 loss to Toronto. Harvey is looking for his first win since May 1. He has taken the loss in eight of his past nine outings. Harvey is 1-1 with a 3.18 ERA in two career starts against Toronto.
On Thursday, Toronto took advantage of five walks by Orioles starter Dean Kremer, who lasted one-third of an inning and allowed six runs.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. keyed the six-run first with his first career grand slam.
“He was kind of wild, a lot of walks and not locating his pitches,” Gurriel said through a team translator. “That’s what I was thinking and what I was looking for — a pitch right in the zone so I could put good contact on it. That’s what happened.”
“We grinded out at-bats, and if they didn’t get the pitch, they took the walk and left it for the next guy,” Montoyo said. “That’s why we ended up scoring that many runs. That was key today, being patient.”
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit his 24th homer of the season, most in the majors, in the second inning. He also struck out three times.
The Orioles, who were swept in a three-game series by the Houston Astros at home before embarking on a 10-game road trip, have been shut out twice in a row. They lost 13-0 to the Astros on Wednesday.
“We’re down a touchdown early back-to-back nights, and that’s not easy to come back from,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. “Thought we had a few guys swing the bat fairly well, but it’s not easy when you’re battling from so far behind so early in the game.”
–Field Level Media