Eli Morgan set for Indians debut vs. Blue Jays

MLB Baseball

Following the brilliant major league debut from one of their own top pitching prospects, the Toronto Blue Jays look to get the best of a Cleveland Indians hurler in a similar situation.

The Blue Jays and Indians open a three-game set on Friday night in Cleveland, with both coming off victorious road series.

After snapping a season-high six-game losing streak on Tuesday against the New York Yankees, Toronto made it two in a row on Thursday when 2019 first-round pick Alek Manoah got the victory. He yielded two hits and struck out seven with a walk over six impressive innings during a 2-0 victory in the first game of a doubleheader in the Bronx.

Though the Blue Jays fell 5-3 in the nightcap, Manoah’s maiden big-league effort highlighted the day.

Now the Blue Jays look to spoil the moment for Cleveland’s Eli Morgan in his major league debut when he takes the ball for the home team Friday.

An eighth-round pick in 2017, the 25-year-old right-hander was 0-1 with a 3.96 ERA in three Triple-A starts this season. Morgan gets his first shot in the majors against an offense that, despite totaling five runs over 14 innings Thursday, ranks fifth in the majors with a .253 average and second with 74 home runs.

Bo Bichette homered in each game Thursday to match his career high of 11, and he is batting .393 with nine RBIs during a seven-game road hitting streak. Teammate Vladimir Guerrero Jr. went 1-for-5 in the doubleheader but is batting .368 over his last 17 games.

The Blue Jays will hand the ball to Hyun Jin Ryu (4-2, 2.53 ERA), who has won his past three decisions dating to mid-April. He is 2-0 with a 1.31 ERA with 20 strikeouts and just two walks allowed in his three most recent starts.

The left-hander yielded eight hits against the Tampa Bay Bays on Sunday, but he gave up just two runs over 6 2/3 innings while not factoring in the decision of a 6-4 defeat.

“Our pitchers and our position players, we’re all doing what we can to compete and go out there and try to win,” Ryu said.

Ryu has faced the Indians just once during his career, back in 2014, when he allowed two runs and fanned eight over seven innings (2.57 ERA).

Cleveland just won three of four at Detroit, where ace Shane Bieber took a no-hitter in the seventh inning of the Indians’ 5-2 victory on Thursday.

The Indians have dealt with injuries to key contributors such as Franmil Reyes (abdominal strain) and Zach Plesac (thumb) most recently, but they have won six of nine.

“We’re going to figure out a way to patch things together for a little bit and continue to win ballgames,” Bieber said. “I think we’ve got a number of ways to go out and win ballgames.”

Cleveland’s Eddie Rosario clubbed a two-run homer Thursday and is 11-for-28 (.393) with six RBIs in his past seven games.

Though the teams have not met since July 2019, the Indians won five straight at home over Toronto and 11 of the last 14 — including the postseason — at Cleveland.

–Field Level Media

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