TORONTO (AP) — Alek Manoah struck out seven and pitched three-hit ball over seven innings, and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Boston Red Sox 1-0 Thursday.
The 24-year-old Manoah (4-0) walked only one batter as the Blue Jays took three of four from their AL East rival.
Manoah, in his second season, won his eighth in a row dating to last year. The Blue Jays have gone 20-4 in his 24 career starts.
The Blue Jays’ lone run was unearned off starter Garrett Whitlock (1-1) in the third inning. Lourdes Gurriell Jr. reached on a one-out error to Red Sox shortstop Christian Arroyo, moved to second after a walk to Raimel Tapia and scored on Alejandro Kirk’s two-out single.
After yielding a one-out single to Alex Verdugo in the first inning, Manoah retired 12 batters in a row before Arroyo’s single in the fifth.
A leadoff double down the right-field line from Kiké Hernandez was snuffed out in the seventh inning. After a sacrifice bunt from Jackie Bradley Jr., Manoah got Arroyo on a lineout to shortstop and Bobby Dalbec to foul out near the Red Sox dugout.
Adam Cimber took over for Manoah with a 1-2-3 eighth, and Toronto closer Jordan Romano finished off Boston in the ninth for his ninth save.
Whitlock allowed four hits, walked two and struck out two over three innings, throwing 61 pitches in his second career start.
Xander Bogaerts, the MLB hits leader with 29, did not start after his four-hit game on Wednesday. Instead, he pinch-hit but meekly grounded out to Cimber in the eighth.
Kirk went 2 for 4 in the matinee to extend his streak without a strikeout to 41 consecutive at-bats, the longest active streak in MLB. The catcher has 13 hits, eight walks and only four strikeouts in 17 games.
Red Sox: J.D. Martinez did not play. He aggravated a left adductor ailment on Wednesday. Manager Alex Cora expects Martinez to return at some point on the weekend. Cora said LHP Chris Sale (60 day IL, rib) threw seven pitches in a bullpen session in Fort Myers on Tuesday.
Blue Jays: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. missed his first game of the season with a sore right foot. He fouled a pitch off his foot in Wednesday’s game, but an X-ray taken was negative.
Red Sox LHP Rich Hill (0-1, 4.85 ERA) faces the Orioles (starter TBD) in series opener in Baltimore on Friday.
Blue Jays LHP Yusei Kikuchi (0-1, 3.75 ERA) faces Astros RHP Jose Urquidy (1-1, 5.52 ERA) in Friday’s series opener at Rogers Centre.
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