Alek Manoah struck out seven and pitched three-hit ball over seven innings, and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the visiting Boston Red Sox 1-0 Thursday.
The 24-year-old Manoah (4-0) walked only one batter as the Blue Jays took three of four from their AL East rival.
“They’re an aggressive team,” Manoah said. “I was trying to make pitches that looked like strikes.”
“He was really good,” Boston manager Alex Cora said. “He had a really good four-seamer and a really good slider. We had some good at-bats, too. We hit the ball hard. But in the end, you have to score some runs to win.”
The Blue Jays’ lone run was unearned off starter Garrett Whitlock (1-1) in the third inning. Lourdes Gurriell Jr. reached on a one-out error to Red Sox shortstop Christian Arroyo, moved to second after a walk to Raimel Tapia and scored on Alejandro Kirk’s two-out single.
Captain <a href=”https://twitter.com/alejandro_kirk?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@alejandro_kirk</a> gets us started 🚀 <a href=”https://t.co/Vcyfc0ZdOJ”>pic.twitter.com/Vcyfc0ZdOJ</a>
After yielding a one-out single to Alex Verdugo in the first inning, Manoah retired 12 batters in a row before Arroyo’s single in the fifth.
A leadoff double down the right-field line from Kiké Hernandez was snuffed out in the seventh inning. After a sacrifice bunt from Jackie Bradley Jr., Manoah got Arroyo on a lineout to shortstop and Bobby Dalbec to foul out near the Red Sox dugout.
“I was talking with [Blue Jays centre fielder] George [Springer] after the game,” Manoah said. “He said, ,’There’s going to be a lot of these games we need to find a way to piece them together.’ To persevere is only going to help us down the road.”
Adam Cimber took over for Manoah with a 1-2-3 eighth, and Toronto closer Jordan Romano finished off Boston in the ninth for his ninth save.
Whitlock allowed four hits, walked two and struck out two over three innings, throwing 61 pitches in his second career start.