Thursday, December 1 2022

TORONTO (AP) — Bo Bichette hit two home runs, pitcher Alek Manoah tied his career high by going eight innings, and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Cincinnati Reds 3-1 on Saturday.

Bichette’s first was a solo home run against right-hander Hunter Greene in the fourth, No. 50 of Bichette’s career. He added a two-point blast against Luis Cessa (2-1) in the seventh. The two came on the first pitch of his sixth career multi-home run game.

“I didn’t know 50 was a big milestone,” Bichette said. “I’m grateful to be here and to have the opportunity to hit some major league home runs.”


Bichette’s six home runs this season tied or gave the Blue Jays the lead.

Greene allowed one run and four hits in six innings, walking two and striking out six in his first start since going 7 1/3 innings without a hit against Pittsburgh last Sunday.

Manoah (5-1) allowed one run and seven hits to end a three-start winless streak and get his first W since April 28 against Boston. He walked none and struck out four.

“It’s special to see him do his job,” Bichette said of Manoah.

Jordan Romano hit the team in the ninth for his 14th AL-leading save in 16 chances, stoking fellow Canadian Joey Votto for the second out.

Starting at DH, Votto went 1 for 4 with a brace in his second game since returning from COVID-19.

“I don’t think he’s exactly where he wants to be, but he’s getting close,” Reds manager David Bell said.

After pulling Tyler Naquin off on a bunt attempt to finish the eighth, Manoah held up a finger as he walked back to the dugout, seemingly indicating he wanted one more inning. Pitching coach Pete Walker spent time chatting with an animated Manoah as the Blue Jays hit, explaining manager Charlie Montoyo’s decision to seat him after 83 pitches.

“We have the best closer to baseball,” Manoah said later. “No matter how many throws I throw, it happens.”

The Reds opened the scoring on Votto’s RBI brace in the fourth, which came after a unique double play that nearly stopped Cincinnati’s rally before it started.

TJ Friedl opened the singles and placed third over Tyler Naquin’s doubles. Tommy Pham broke his bat on the first pitch he saw from Manoah, sending a liner back to the mound. Manoah escaped a jagged piece of broken bat and caught, then quickly threw to third to double Friedl.

After going 22 out without giving up a hit against the Pirates, Greene struck out the first batters he faced on Saturday before walking two out to Alejandro Kirk in second. Matt Chapman came out to end the inning.

Greene retired the team on four pitches in the third, but his no-hitter streak ended when Bichette connected on the first pitch of the fourth.

Greene ended his outing by stoking Chapman again to leave the bases loaded in the sixth.

“Of everything Hunter has done this year, this might be my favorite moment so far,” Bell said.

Cincinnati’s Tyler Stephenson doubled to start the seventh and moved to third on Mike Moustakas ground, but Manoah fanned Colin Moran before second baseman Santiago Espinal made a diving save on Alejo Lopez ground for finish the round.

GREENE ON THE GUN

Greene has thrown 24 of his 84 pitches at 100 mph or faster. 13 others were at least 99 mph. His fastest was a 101.4 mph throw which Chapman fouled in the second.

FIRST TIME IN TORONTO

Greene said he was thrilled to take the mound in Toronto on his first trip to Canada’s biggest city.

“I always wanted to pitch here in this environment, here in this stadium,” he said. “Being able to do well was really, really nice, and it was special.”

One thing Greene wanted north of the border was a photo of himself throwing with the CN Tower in the background. He got his wish when the roof opened before the start of the fourth, allowing a member of Reds staff to get the shot.

GEM WEB

Friedl crashed into the center field wall after catching George Springer’s deep liner at the bottom of the first.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Reds: SS Kyle Farmer dropped from starting lineup (rest).

Blue Jays: Lourdes Gurriel Jr. returned to the roster at 1B. Gurriel left Wednesday’s game against Seattle with left hamstring pain. … Vladimir Guerrero Jr. started at DH.

NEXT

The Reds have dropped RHP Connor Overton (fullback) from Sunday’s scheduled start and will instead look to RHP Graham Ashcraft to make his major league debut against Blue Jays LHP Yusei Kikuchi (2-1, 3.38). Kikuchi is 2-0 with a 1.56 ERA in his last three starts.

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Previous

Bull escapes Redding's rodeo; 6 people injured before being captured at the sundial

Next

Teenager's sudden death, payday loan rage and concern over collapsing Liverpool markets

Check Also