It might have taken him three extra starts compared to last season, but Alek Manoah set a new career-high in strikeouts.

Manoah needed just four strikeouts entering his Tuesday start against the visiting Baltimore Orioles to set the new career mark. And it didn’t take him long to add those four “Ks” to his stat line.

The big right-hander picked up one strikeout in both the first and second innings, and added two more in the third to reach 128 punchouts on the year.

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Manoah racked up seven strikeouts in his latest outing on the bump, bringing him to a total of 131 on the season. He now needs just three strikeouts to match John Means’ record for the most single-season strikeouts by any former WVU pitcher.

The 2019 first-round draft pick of the Blue Jays recorded 127 punchouts as a rookie in 2021.

Manoah, who didn’t allow a hit until there were two outs in the fourth innings, had things go sideways after that, unfortunately for him.

Pitching with a 2-0 lead, Toronto’s starter gave up back-to-back home runs in the fifth inning, which tied the contest. Baltimore then added two more runs in its next at-bat, as the Blue Jays committed three errors through the first six innings.

Through 23 starts this season, Manoah has yet to pitch less than five complete innings. He entered the game fourth in the American League with a 2.53 earned run average.

Manoah was the first former Mountaineer to ever appear in the Major League Baseball All-Star Game when he pitched for the American League in the Midsummer Classic earlier this year.