Manoah pitched seven white innings while Springer smashed home runs in his first two batting appearances in Toronto’s 4-0 win over the Kansas City Royals on Saturday. The Blue Jays returned home to Toronto on Friday after a 22-month absence due to the Covid-19 pandemic, playing home games in Buffalo and Dunedin, Fla.
Manoah has also made a comeback of sorts. He was injured two weeks ago when he slipped on the soggy steps of the Blue Jays canoe in Buffalo. He sustained a contusion to his right rear. He only gave up a pair of singles when he came out of 89 lengths.
“It kind of made me feel good,” Manoah said when asked about his fall. “It’s been long weeks, and I’m so happy and so grateful to be back on this mound.
“The body felt really good; everything felt good. I was able to throw a lot of strikes and make the boys win. “
23-year-old Manoah (3-1) knew he would be ready for his first start at the Rogers Center. So he tried to control his adrenaline by breathing deeply. He didn’t have the velocity he displayed earlier in the season.
However, he still had four strikeouts and struck out 16 Royals in a row between the singles with a Ryan O’Hearn out in the second inning and the hit with two Hunter Dozier strikeouts in the seventh.
“We thought it was going to be rusty,” said Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoya. “But he was throwing punches.
“This kid didn’t have his best stuff, and he can always get you out.” “
If Manoah can continue competing like he did on Saturday, the Blue Jays should have a scary starting rotation with their top four pitchers, led by Robbie Ray, Hyun Jin Ryu and newcomer Jose Berrios. The latter was acquired from the Minnesota Twins in exchange for shortstop / outfielder Austin Martin and right-hander Simeon Woods Richardson on Friday.
Berrios, who was due to start for the Twins on Friday, was due to arrive at Rogers Center on Saturday night. Montoyo plans to pitch his new pitcher in the series finale on Sunday afternoon if he feels ready.
“I’ll wait for him here,” Montoyo said in his post-match remarks.
The Blue Jays also had to wait for Springer to make an impact this summer. The independent agent signed a six-year, US $ 150 million contract with Toronto last January. But a right quadriceps strain limited his playing time earlier this season.
He regained his form in July. His first home run on the left-field line, for his 40th career round-trip round, and his explosion of two runs in the third inning were his 10th and 11th homers of the year. He’s now grown to 19 for 49 (0.388) in his last 13 games with six doubles, six homers and 10 RBIs.
“Obviously that’s where I wanted to play,” said Springer, who has reached base 50 times in his 34 outings in 2021. “It’s home. For us to have a chance to come back here, to play in front of the fans, the atmosphere has been incredible in the last two games. That’s exciting. “
After Manoah left, the Blue Jays received substantial relief from lefties Ryan Borucki and Adam Cimber. Borucki got the first two strikeouts in the eighth inning, while Cimber knocked out the Royals (45-58) with four consecutive strikeouts to end the game.
The Blue Jays (53-48) have won three in a row and four of their last five.