Blue Jays starter Alek Manoah had just given up a solo home run against Willi Castro when his night got worse. Tigers second baseman Jonathan Schoop hit a comebacker that came off Manoah’s throwing elbow and dropped the burly Toronto ace to his knees.
The ball bounced towards shortstop Santiago Espinal who came out first but Manoah missed the whole game. Head Athletic Coach Jose Julian Ministral immediately came out of the Blue Jays dugout to check Manoah and eventually made the call to have him pulled from the game.
“I showed [Ministral] where it took me and he said, ‘Does it hurt?’ I mean, I think it was more just the initial shock,” said Manoah, recounting the conversation with the coach. “And then I said, ‘Did we figure that out?’ ‘Yes.’
“‘Okay, let me throw a few more,’ and he said, ‘Are you crazy?’ ”
Victor Reyes had an RBI double and Harold Castro drove a single in two runs as the Tigers beat Toronto 4-2 on Friday.
Manoah (11-5) gave up seven hits and a walk for four carries and hit four over 5⅓ innings before being pulled with a bruised right elbow.
Manoah had X-rays after leaving the game which came back negative.
“Honestly, I didn’t even think I needed the X-ray, but they wanted it as a precautionary measure,” said Manoah, who didn’t ice his elbow during post-game interviews and even bumped it a few times.
“Everything was negative, everything was clean, so we’ll get back on the horse and we’ll be back in five days.”
Blue Jays interim manager John Schneider said Manoah was nearing the end of his night anyway as he was up to 87 pitches and struggling with his command.
“He’s damn competitive and wanted to stay inside but it was a pretty easy decision to bring him out to be safe,” said Schneider, noting that assist Tim Mayza was already warming up in the Toronto bullpen when Manoah was injured.
Mayza, David Phelps, Anthony Banda and Max Castillo kept the Tigers scoreless for the rest of the game.
Matt Chapman’s solo home run and Raimel Tapia’s RBI single were all Toronto (55-45) could scrape together on offense.
Bryan Garcia allowed two runs with three hits and two walks with three strikeouts over 3⅔ innings. Will Vest (3-2), Jason Foley, Joe Jimenez, Michael Fulmer and Gregory Soto provided relief for the Tigers (41-60).
Chapman got the 28,046 fans at Rogers Center on their feet in the second inning and hit the deepest part of the stadium with his 19th home run of the season to give the Blue Jays a 1-0 lead.
Reyes tied it up in the next inning when his strike bounced past a skidding Teoscar Hernandez in right field for a double. That was scored by Riley Greene to make it 1-1.
Tapia’s single gave Toronto its second lead of the game in the fourth. His shot to the left gave Gurriel enough time to slide home to make it 2-1.
Detroit responded right in the fifth, putting together a two-out rally. Greene walked, Reyes singled, and then Javier Baez was hit by a Manoah pitch to load bases. Harold Castro’s single brought Greene and Reyes home for a 3-2 Tigers lead.
Willi Castro extended that lead in sixth place, hitting his fourth home run of the season into the Tigers’ dugout in right field.
Blue Jays outfielder George Springer was visibly uncomfortable after making big throws from deep right field in the eighth inning of Toronto’s 5-3 win over Detroit on Thursday. He had Friday night off, but Blue Jays interim manager John Schneider said Springer was available from the bench and would get a night off anyway.
Toronto shortstop Bo Bichette was also left out of the lineup on Friday with a sore left shoulder. Schneider said he was injured after colliding with Gurriel Jr. while tracking a flyball in flat left field the night before. Bichette came on in the ninth inning and scored for Tapia.
Ross Stripling (5-3) will start Saturday afternoon as Toronto continues its streak against the Tigers. Former Blue Jays pitcher Drew Hutchison (1-4) will take the mound for Detroit.