TORONTO – Control issues plagued Toronto’s Alek Manoah in a 7-4 loss to the New York Yankees on Monday night, with the long ball and a career-high seven walks leading to another ineffective start.
Manoah was an American League Cy Young Award finalist last year but has struggled to find his form this season.
“That’s baseball, man,” he said. “I don’t need to tell you guys the kind of year I had last year. But that’s the game. This game will punch you right in the mouth.
“My job is to show up every day and give this team a chance.”
Aaron Judge hit a solo shot and Willie Calhoun added a two-run homer in the first inning to stake New York to an early lead. Manoah was pulled after opening the fifth with back-to-back walks.
He has made it to the sixth inning in only two of nine starts this season and his earned-run average is up to 5.40.
“I do everything I can between starts,” Manoah said. “In bullpen (sessions), I feel like everything is coming together. Right now the game is just testing me.
“You find out who’s who when things aren’t going well.”
New York opener Jimmy Cordero threw two scoreless frames ahead of right-hander Jhony Brito, who held Toronto off the scoreboard until the Blue Jays’ four-run eighth inning.
“(Brito) came in and threw the ball really well,” said Yankees manager Aaron Boone. “He gave us just what we needed. Just a really good job by those two guys.”
Judge added another solo shot in the eighth inning to give him 10 homers on the year. Michael King recorded the final four outs for his third save.
The Yankees (24-19) ended Toronto’s three-game win streak and have won nine of their last 13 games.
Corder retired the first six batters in order thanks in part to some great defence.
Shortstop Anthony Volpe went airborne to rob Daulton Varsho of a hit in the second inning. Left-fielder Jake Bauers followed with a running catch on the warning track that denied Matt Chapman of extra bases.
The Yankees tacked on two more runs in the fourth. Kyle Higashioka drove in Volpe with an RBI single and Manoah walked Judge with the bases loaded.
The Blue Jays right-hander escaped further damage by getting Anthony Rizzo to hit into an inning-ending double play. Manoah allowed six hits and five earned runs while striking out three.
He threw more balls (48) than strikes (44) on a cool, breezy night with the roof open at Rogers Centre.
“I’ve got to look at it a little bit more closely (to see) if it’s mechanical or if it’s trying to do a little bit too much with certain pitches,” said Toronto manager John Schneider. “But he needs to flip the script a little bit here and get in the zone.”
Nate Pearson, Tim Mayza, Jay Jackson and Yimi Garcia all worked in relief for Toronto (24-17).
Boone was ejected in the eighth inning. He appeared to have an issue with home-plate umpire Clint Vondrak’s strike zone.
Jackson later gave up a solo shot to Judge that landed in the standing-room area well above the wall in centre field. Judge glanced in the direction of his dugout right before the pitch was thrown.
“It’s kind of odd that a hitter would be looking in that direction,” Schneider said. “He’s obviously looking in that direction for a reason.
“I think we’ll dive into it a little bit more tonight and tomorrow just to make sure that we’re doing everything that we can to not make ourselves susceptible to tendencies, location or pitches or anything like that.”
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The Judge blast travelled an estimated 462 feet. The slugger was also asked about his glance after the game.
“There was kind of a lot of chirping from our dugout, which I really didn’t like in the situation where it’s a 6-0 game,” he said. “I was kind of trying to see who was chirping in the dugout.”
Chapman led off the bottom half of the eighth with a double and scored Toronto’s first run on a Whit Merrifield single.
Brito (3-3) was chased after loading the bases with one out. He allowed six hits and two earned runs and struck out a pair.
Ian Hamilton came on and the Blue Jays scratched out three more runs on a George Springer fielder’s choice, a Bo Bichette flare single and a double by Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
Varsho came to the plate as the potential tying run but King got him to hit a weak grounder for the third out.
Announced attendance was 28,810 and the game took two hours 47 minutes to play.
ON THE BILL
Sporting a Blue Jays jersey with his familiar No. 17 on the back, Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen took some cuts in the cage before the teams held pre-game batting practice.
The six-foot-five 237-pound pivot looked just as comfortable in the batter’s box as he does under centre, launching balls over the outfield wall on four occasions.
Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins said he’s encouraged by the progress that pitchers Chad Green and Hyun Jin Ryu have made after Tommy John surgery.
Green and Ryu, who had operations last June, recently threw bullpen sessions in Dunedin, Fla. The team remains hopeful that they could return later in the season, Atkins said.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 15, 2023.
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