TORONTO — Alec Manoah wants to start throwing punches instead of taking them.
Manoah took the loss when the Toronto Blue Jays were crushed 8-1 by the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday.
Alec Manoah (1-1) batted to four innings and two hits on the mound, allowing seven runs, nine hits and four walks.
After the game, the 25-year-old pitcher put the loss into perspective, saying life can be tougher than tripping over the mound.
“I’ve been hit so many times, so being hit on a baseball field is worse than other times I’ve been hit,” Manoah said. I am here now and I will continue to fight to get through this. That’s all I know how to do and that’s what the team needs from me. »
Manoah’s earned run average swelled to 6.98 after the loss. It’s a far cry from his 2.23 average from last year, when he was named to the All-Star Game, and when he finished third in America’s Cy-Young Trophy voting.
“I’m not going back to the drawing board. I was relieved, Manoah insisted. My fastball speed was very good. I had a feeling some of my shots were very good. I have to keep giving my team a chance to win and I didn’t do that today.”
A homer by Christian Bethancourt led the Rays (14-2), who already have a four-game lead over the Blue Jays at the top of the American East Division.
Josh Lowe drove in three runs for Florida with a single and a double, while Vidal Brogan added a single in the ninth.
Shane McClanahan (4-0) got off to a good start, allowing just one run in six innings of work for the Rays.
Colin Butch, Jarrett Clevinger, and Jason Adam combined efforts to shut out the Blue Jays (10-6) in the final innings of the game.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. drove in the Torontonians singles race with the first single. The Blue Jays failed to complete a sweep in this three-game series.
Zack Pope, Tim Maesa, Trevor Richards, and Anthony Bass came in relief from Manoah and only allowed Bass to run.
Manoah lacked control of his shots on the first pitch of the afternoon, hitting Rays first batter Yandy Diaz. Then Brandon Lowe walked a single to Harold Ramirez and walked to Wanderer Franco to let the visitors open the scoring.
The Blue Jays recovered two hits in a row, but Josh Lowe hit a two-run single to extend the lead to 3-0.
“I don’t think it’s a matter of mechanics, it’s a matter of control. It comes and goes,” noted Blue Jays manager John Schneider. One inning of 35 pitches, one hit, two walks and he’s almost out. »
Guerrero answered the Blue Jays late in the first inning, hitting a grounder at right center field to drive home George Springer.
Manoah did not allow a run the next three innings, but the right-hander walked Taylor Walls, who crossed the board after Josh Lowe’s double.
“Manoah is such a good pitcher,” said Rays manager Kevin Cash. When you take it out of sync a bit, you want to be able to enjoy it. We wanted to be greedy and not just get a point. »
Bethancourt followed with their third trip of the season, making it 7-1 for the Rays. Manoah engaged another bat before giving way to Bob.
Blue Jays relief did not allow a run until the ninth inning, when Brogan hit a single to left that gave Walls plenty of time to hit home plate.
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