Alek Manoah, Jays aim for two-game sweep of Marlins

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Toronto Blue Jays right-hander Alek Manoah, an impressive winner in his major league debut at Yankee Stadium, will try to sustain that success Wednesday night against the visiting Miami Marlins in Buffalo.

The Blue Jays will be going for a sweep of the two-game set after winning the opener 5-1 onTuesday in their first game of the season at Sahlen Field.

Toronto played its first 21 home games in Dunedin, Fla. COVID-19 pandemic restrictions have prevented the Blue Jays from playing in Toronto since the 2019 season,

Manoah (1-0, 0.00 ERA) will be opposing Pablo Lopez (1-3, 2.71). The Marlins right-hander has never faced the Blue Jays.

In his major league debut on Thursday, Manoah held the Yankees to two hits over six innings in the first game of a doubleheader won 2-0 by Toronto. The 23-year-old allowed two walks and struck out seven.

He has a fastball in the high 90s.

“When I can get that heater ahead in counts, that just opens the door for everything,” Manoah said. “Sliders, changeups, just forcing them to kind of try to cheat to that, will open the door for everything. I was able to do that and just throw a ton of strikes. That was the biggest thing.”

“He pitched,” Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said. “His stuff wasn’t as great as I saw in spring training, but he was good enough, of course, and he pitched. He wasn’t just throwing, and that makes me believe that he’s got a chance, because even when you don’t have your best stuff, he knows how to pitch. That’s what I saw.”

Manoah made his major league debut after pitching only 35 minor league innings — 18 this season with Triple-A Buffalo. The Blue Jays made him the 11th pick overall in the 2019 draft.

The Marlins had two key players back in the lineup Tuesday, but it could not prevent a fourth straight loss.

Jazz Chisholm was at shortstop after missing four games with a sprained ankle. He had not played since May 25 and was 0-for-4.

Adam Duvall, who had not played since Thursday because of tightness in his side, played right field on Tuesday and was 0-for-3 with a walk.

“I think we’ve been able to see that (Chisholm) seems to be a little bit of a catalyst for us by getting on base and having a chance to steal bags,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “He’s probably the furthest along at shortstop (among healthy players). We’ve been playing (Jose Devers) there, but obviously hadn’t played too deep into his career, even at the Triple-A level. To get a little bit more experience in the middle of the field allows to put the rest of the guys in better positions. It should be good for our defense.”

Starling Marte, who returned Friday after missing 34 games with a rib fracture, was 2-for-4 for Miami on Tuesday with an RBI double to extend his hit streak to 11 games.

Luis Marte made his major league debut on Tuesday and played second base. He was 0-for-2 with a walk and scored on Starling Marte’s hit.

Vladimir Guerrero was 4-for-4 Tuesday for the Blue Jays with a three-run homer and a double. It was his first career four-hit game. He has 17 home runs on the season, 12 of them in home games.

–Field Level Media

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