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