Alek Manoah has lit up the big leagues throughout his All-Star 2022 season, but on Friday, he got to do it in front of his old team and fans.
Manoah started for the Toronto Blue Jays against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park as the West Virginia baseball team watched on, as did a large contingent of Mountaineer fans. The WVU single-season strikeout leader gave them a show, throwing 7.1 scoreless innings while allowing five hits with six strikeouts to lead Toronto to a 4-0 victory.
The 2019 first-round draft pick started hot, striking out two of his first three batters in the bottom of the first inning. He got in a bit of a pinch in the second after giving up his first single of the game and walking another batsman, but he got out clean.
Manoah’s next true bit of danger came in the seventh inning. Jack Suwinski logged his second hit of the night with one out, lining one to center field. He reached third after a two-out single from Cal Mitchell, but Manoah escaped the inning after forcing Michael Chavis to ground out.
Manoah struck out one more Pirate and gave up one more single before Tim Mayza replaced him on the mound.
The second-year Blue Jay earned his 13th win of the season, tying him for third in the American League. Manoah’s ERA dips to 2.48, leading the Blue Jays and slotting in sixth in the AL.
Manoah also earns a crucial victory for his Toronto ball club as the postseason race heats up. The Blue Jays are in a tight race for the AL Wild Card and jump ahead of Baltimore by a game-and-a-half. They stay behind the Tampa Bay Rays by as many games, however, as they took a win over the Yankees on Friday.
Manoah is next slated to take the mound against the Orioles on Sept. 6 at Camden Yards in Baltimore.