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Manoah pitches six strong innings for Bisons in Triple-A


Alek Manoah pitched six strong innings for the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons in a rehab outing, allowing one run on two hits and two walks. He struck out 12 in the dominant effort. 

This was Manoah's fifth rehab start as he attempts to work back from shoulder inflammation he suffered with the Toronto Blue Jays in Spring Training.

The 26-year-old last pitched in the majors on August 10 of 2023, when he allowed four runs in four innings against the Cleveland Guardians.

Manoah was sent down for the second time last year after that outing in what was essentially a lost season, where he pitched to a 5.87 earned run average over 19 starts and an ugly 6.1 walks per nine innings. 

The strong start comes at a very important time in the Blue Jays' young season, as Yariel Rodriguez, the fifth starter in the rotation, was placed on the 15-day Injured List with thoracic spine inflammation on Tuesday. 

Rodriguez was signed to a five-year contract over the offseason as another option in the rotation, but general manager Ross Atkins remained adamant that Manoah can contribute to the major-league club moving forward.

"I feel confident about him being a large part of our success next year, a significant piece in the rotation," Atkins said last December. "He's thinking about excellence.

"He's thinking about being one of the better starters in the game, and we believe that he can build back towards that."

Manoah is still working on recapturing the form that led him to a third-place finish in AL Cy Young voting in 2022, when he held a 2.24 ERA across 31 starts, with 180 strikeouts in 196.2 innings pitched.