Alek Manoah leads Blue Jays past Tigers in return

DETROIT -- Alek Manoah won for the first time since April 5, allowing one run on five hits in six innings of a triumphant return to the rotation as the Toronto Blue Jays defeated the Detroit Tigers 12-2 on Friday night for their fourth straight victory.

Manoah was back on the mound after being sent down June 6 to rookie level ball after struggling to start 2023. A 2022 All-Star and American League Cy Young finalist after going 16-7 with a 2.24 ERA in 31 starts, he entered Friday 1-7 with a 6.36 ERA.

"I've been waiting for this outing for a long time," said Manoah, who started for Double-A New Hampshire on Sunday in an attempt to fix his control issues. "This feels great. I'm excited about the strides I've made over the last month and I'm looking forward to building off them."

Manoah threw 19 first-pitch strikes to 23 batters -- a career-high 82.6%. His eight strikeouts were a season high, and he didn't walk a batter.

"This is what we saw when he was working in Florida and New Hampshire," Schneider said. "I'm really proud of the way he has handled this and the work he has put in to get back here."

Whit Merrifield homered and drove in four runs for Toronto, which improved to 15-5 against American League Central teams, while the Tigers fell to 2-15 against the AL East.

George Springer added a home run and three RBIs for Toronto, which sent 10 batters to the plate in a six-run fourth and 11 in a five-run ninth. Kevin Kiermaier had four hits.

Alex Faedo (1-5) took the loss in his first start since June 2. He allowed seven runs in 3⅔ innings in his return from a finger injury.

The Blue Jays took the lead in the third. Kiermaier singled with two out and Springer followed with an RBI double.

Spencer Torkelson's RBI single tied it in the bottom of the third, but the Blue Jays scored six times in the fourth.

Toronto loaded the bases on a single and two walks, and Merrifield made it 2-1 with an RBI single. Daulton Varsho popped out, but Danny Jansen hit a two-run double.

Keirmaier's groundout gave the Blue Jays a four-run lead and Springer's home run made it 7-1.

Matt Vierling's third single pulled Detroit to 7-2 in the eighth, but Merrifield's three-run homer capped a five-run ninth. Tigers utility infielder Zack Short got the final three outs without allowing a run.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.