MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Alek Manoah was just one mental error by his infield away from throwing eight shutout innings Thursday afternoon in Toronto.

In his first start since setting a new season-high in strikeouts on May 27, Manoah was in command once again against the Chicago White Sox.

The former Mountaineer All-American faced a bases-loaded jam early on, but escaped it and then found his groove.

Manoah retired 16 batters in a row, starting with the final out in the first inning and lasting all the way through the end of the sixth.

In all, he pitched 7 2/3 strong innings, and remained undefeated in his home ballpark, despite being charged for three earned runs.

Those three runs all came in the top of the eighth inning.

Needing just one pitch to get out of the inning, Manoah induced a ground ball to the left side of the infield. However, all-star third baseman Matt Chapman hesitated and ultimately never made a throw to either first or second base.

That put two runners on with two out, and the next White Sox hitter roped a double to center field to drive in two runs. The third run of the frame came around to score after Manoah was removed from the game.

He left to a standing ovation from the home crowd.

The three runs, all earned, charged to Manoah snaps a streak of 13 consecutive starts allowing two earned runs or fewer dating back to last September.

While he couldn’t avoid trouble in the eighth, the WVU alum was able to work his way out of a jam in the opening frame.

A pair of singles and a walk loaded the bases with two outs. But the big right-hander got the final two outs of the frame with strikeouts on a pair of sharp-breaking sliders.

He locked in after that. While Manoah needed 19 pitches to get through the first, he needed just 19 more to get the next six outs.

That started a stretch in which he retired 16 batters in a row over the course of the next five innings. He collected four of his five strikeouts during that streak, as well.

He entered the eighth inning with a 4-0 lead.

It’s the seventh time he’s completed at least seven innings since making his MLB debut last spring. But he was just one out away from matching his career-high of eight complete innings.

With the win, Manoah improved to 6-1 on the year. He is also a perfect 8-0 inside the Rogers Centre through 11 career starts there.

Overall, Manoah is now 15-3 in his big league career. His career WHIP is 0.9981, while he has a career ERA of 2.77.

With Thursday’s win, Manoah is now once again tied for the major league lead in wins (six), quality starts (9), and has one of the best ERAs (1.98) in the big leagues as well.