Two-Hit Whit connects, Manoah survives another scare in Jays’ win

Three things you need to know about the Blue Jays’ 9-3 win over the Twins in Minnesota on Thursday night:

Breakout

The Jays scored more runs in the eighth inning than they did in their entire two-game series split in Tampa Bay earlier this week.

Up 3-2 into the frame, Bo Bichette led off with his second double of the night and, for the second time, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. followed with a single to score him. With one out, Whit Merrifield and Cavan Biggio singled to load the bases. Then George Springer, playing for the first time in five games, singled to left to cash a pair.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. put the cherry on top with a three-run rocket to deep left field that came off his bat at 115.4 miles per hour.

Magnet in the jersey

Once again, Alek Manoah got drilled in the right arm by a comebacker.

Last Friday night against Detroit, Manoah was hit in the right elbow by a Jonathan Schoop one-hopper in the sixth inning and had to leave the game. Thursday in Minnesota, Manoah got hit in the upper arm by a Carlos Correa soft liner in the fourth inning, immediately looked into the Jays dugout and told trainer Jose Ministral to stay put.

Ministral came to check him out anyway, but the big righty stayed in the game. He struggled with his control for the rest of the inning — walking a pair, then hitting Jose Miranda with the bases loaded — but rebounded to work through the sixth inning, allowing only one more run.

Two-hit Whit

Jays starter allowed two runs on just two hits over six innings in Thursday night’s win over the Twins.

One of the newest Jays lived up to his nickname.

Merrifield made his debut playing centre field and batting eighth, and helped the cause with an RBI infield single in the sixth and a single to right in the eighth. It was his first multi-hit game in August, after at least eight in each of the last three months.

Merrifield earned the Two-Hit Whit moniker by leading the league in hits in 2018 and 2019. Overall, he’s the major-league leader in hits since the start of the 2017 season.

Mike Wilner is a Toronto-based baseball columnist for the Star and host of the baseball podcast “Deep Left Field.” Follow him on Twitter: @wilnerness

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