Blue Jays pitcher Alek Manoah certainly made his voice heard in his final at-bat of his Saturday start against the Red Sox.
The right-hander retired three straight batters for the Red Sox after allowing a single to Alex Verdugo to start the sixth inning and keep the Blue Jays up 3-1. It took just three pitches for Manoah to get Xander Bogaerts out, making the shortstop feel an inside change for the third strike.
Manoah hit Franchy Cordero on an inside slider on the next strike. After winning the battle by five lengths, Manoah seemed to have said a few words to himself on the mound, causing Cordero to look in his direction. When Manoah saw Cordero start at him, he told Cordero to “sit the [expletive] down.”
Bobby Dalbec, who homered Manoah in the second inning, sniffed out two fastballs before watching a third fastball land in the zone to go out for hit three, ending the inning. Manoah looked towards Dalbec and the Red Sox dugout, pounding his chest with his glove and flexed a bit before heading towards the Blue Jays dugout.
Dalbec seemed to object to what Manoah did, looking back to say something to the pitcher. Manoah turned to Dalbec and said “Sit down [expletive] as two Blue Jays teammates ushered him into the dugout before things got even worse.
Manoah joked about his trade with Dalbec after the game.
“I think I said, ‘Let’s get some BioSteel.’ He’s like, ‘No, I’m going to go get some Gatorade.’ So I was like, ‘No, you have to go sit down. I’m going to buy some BioSteel,’ Manoah, who recently signed, jokingly told reporters. an endorsement agreement with BioSteel.
To Red Sox manager Alex Cora, Manoah’s trash talk was just his team being served a humble slice of pie. The Red Sox have lost four straight, three of them by double digits. Saturday’s loss also meant the Red Sox would go without a series win against an AL East opponent this season.
“Nobody’s going to be sorry for us. He showed it today, didn’t he?” Cora said. where we are.”
Manoah, 24 and entering his first full major league season, has a feisty style that won him success against the Red Sox. He’s 3-0 in five career starts against Boston, posting a 1.74 ERA and struck out 29 Red Sox batters in 31 innings pitched.
Manoah explained why he was so excited on Saturday in particular.
“Just competitive baseball, man,” Manoah said. “It’s hot in baseball. These guys are trying to do everything they can to win, we are trying to do the same on our side. I was pretty excited getting into the dugout and that we were able to get the win.
“My competitiveness is something I know I can control. So for me, being able to show that I’m competitive, having that will to win, expecting nothing less, that’s basically what I try to do every day.
Blue Jays interim manager John Schneider appreciated his young All-Star’s approach to the game.
“We all know he’s an emotional guy and I think that’s what makes him elite, the way he competes,” Schneider said. “When guys are comfortable, that’s the best version of them [and fired-up] that’s when he’s comfortable.
“We saw him in the All-Star Game. He’s a great personality and it’s a fine line of competition, sportsmanship and gamemanship. Today, seeing the way the game unfolds, the guys are going to celebrate when they succeed, whether it’s offensively or on the mound. I was good with that.
The struggling Sox will have one last chance against the Jays to avoid a series sweep on Sunday. They will face Ross Stripling, who is 5-3 with a 3.03 ERA this season, while they will have rookie Bryan Bello on the bump for his third major league bump.
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