TORONTO — Alek Manoah’s struggles continued Monday night as the Toronto Blue Jays starter issued a career-high seven walks in a 7-4 loss to the New York Yankees at Rogers Centre.
The Yankees got to Manoah early as Aaron Judge and Willie Calhoun hit homers in the first inning to stake New York to a three-run lead. Judge added another solo shot in the eighth inning to give him 10 homers on the year.
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.
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.
Manoah has yet to find the form that made him an American League Cy Young Award finalist last season. He has made it to the sixth inning in only two of nine starts and his earned-run average is up to 5.40.
Manoah (1-4) gave up a solo shot to Judge — a 375-foot liner that barely cleared the fence — before Calhoun added a two-run, 404-foot blast later in the frame.
Cordero, meanwhile, 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 Anthony 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. But back-to-back walks to open the fifth inning ended Manoah’s night.
He threw more balls (48) than strikes (44) and allowed six hits and five earned runs while striking out three.
Nate Pearson, Tim Mayza, Jay Jackson and Yimi Garcia all worked in relief for Toronto (24-17). Jackson gave up a 462-foot solo shot to Judge that landed in the standing-room area above the wall in centre field.
Yankees manager Aaron Boone was ejected in the eighth inning. He appeared to have an issue with home-plate umpire Clint Vondrak’s strike zone.
Chapman led off the bottom half of the frame 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.
Follow @GregoryStrongCP on Twitter.
Gregory Strong, The Canadian Press