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Tough Futures Game outing motivates Manning

@MandyBell02
July 7, 2019

CLEVELAND -- Sunday’s SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game didn’t quite go the way right-hander Matt Manning had hoped.

CLEVELAND -- Sunday’s SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game didn’t quite go the way right-hander Matt Manning had hoped.

In the 2-2 tie at Progressive Field, the American League had held the National League hitless through the first three innings, as Deivi Garcia, Justin Dunn and DL Hall combined to allow just one baserunner on a hit-by-pitch. But things quickly unraveled when Manning replaced Hall to start the fourth, as he lasted just one-third of a frame, allowing two runs on three hits. Although he labored through a shaky outing, he still enjoyed his time representing the Tigers organization.

“For sure,” Manning said. “It’s fun to be out there and be on this stage, be with these guys, compete with the other hitters and I’m just happy to be a part of it.”

Manning, Detroit's No. 2 prospect, per MLB Pipeline, gave up a leadoff single to Carter Kieboom before forcing Isan Diaz to hit a slow ground ball between the mound and third. Manning was able to make an athletic play, dodging his third baseman and turning to fire to first just in time to record the out.

“Off the bat, I thought the third baseman would’ve been there,” Manning said. “But I saw him kind of playing back. So I kind of went for it and barehanded and slung it over there.”

But that was the only out he recorded on the evening.

Manning, 21, gave up back-to-back singles to allow a run and hit a batter with a 94.3 mph fastball, prompting his early exit. He was charged with another run when Kris Bubic gave up an RBI single to the first batter he faced.

“I had a lot of fouls balls,” Manning said. “Kind of went deep into the counts. Probably be a couple pitches away from it being a completely different result. I wouldn’t change anything. Just kind of happens.

The hitters Manning had to face didn’t make his job any easier. Kieboom is the Nationals’ top prospect, Alec Bohm is the top prospect for the Phillies and Taylor Trammell is the No. 1 prospect for the Reds.

“There’s no holes in the lineup,” Manning said. “Every guy’s here for a reason. Hitters are good. I got a lot of weak contact [on the] left side. They got through the holes a little bit. Just part of it.”

The 6-foot-6 hurler has made 16 starts for Double-A Erie this season, going 6-4 with a 2.77 ERA. In 91 innings, he has struck out 106 batters and walked 31. His appearance may not have gone his way, but Manning said he was able to learn a lot from his experience during All-Star weekend.

“Just taking what you learn, bringing it back to the regular season and just try to finish off strong,” Manning said. “It’s a good motivation for the rest of the season. Just kind of finish healthy and strong.”

Mandy Bell covers the Indians for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter at @MandyBell02.