Blue Jays' Alek Manoah, 2022 Cy Young finalist, dominates in return from minor league stint

It’s been a roller coaster season for Alek Manoah.

Manoah was lights out in his return to the big leagues Friday following a brief stint in the minor leagues, tossing six innings of one-run ball against the Detroit Tigers.

The 25-year-old was an American League Cy Young Award finalist last year. 

But he struggled in his first 13 starts this season with a 6.36 ERA after posting a 2.24 last season.

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Alek Manoah pitching in Detoirt

Alek Manoah of the Toronto Blue Jays throws a pitch against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park July 7, 2023, in Detroit. (Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

With options remaining, the Toronto Blue Jays sent him to the Florida Complex League, the lowest level of the minors.

Even that was a head spinner. It took him three weeks to get back on the mound, and when he finally did, he allowed 11 earned runs in 2⅔ innings.

Alek Manoah pumped up

Alek Manoah of the Toronto Blue Jays celebrates at the end of the third inning against the Baltimore Orioles during a game at the Rogers Centre Sept. 18, 2022, in Toronto. (Mark Blinch/Getty Images)

But on Friday night, he looked like his old self. He struck out eight and allowed just five hits in Detroit, throwing 91 pitches.

Manoah also posted a 0.99 WHIP last year, but at the time of his demotion last month, he led the majors in walks allowed. He didn’t walk a batter Friday.

YANKEES TV NETWORK PROVIDES UPDATE ON CAMERAMAN WHO WAS STRETCHERED OFF FIELD

Friday marked the second time Manoah pitched into the sixth inning since April 22. His last MLB start, when he allowed six earned runs in just one-third of an inning, was his fourth outing this season of allowing at least five earned runs.

Alek Manoah deep breath on mound

Alek Manoah of the Toronto Blue Jays in action against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium Aug. 21, 2022, in New York City. (Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

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Toronto is 49-40 and in third place in the AL East, seven games behind the Tampa Bay Rays.

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