Kikuchi relegated to ‘five-inning starter’ role, Toronto loses to Baltimore


The Toronto Blue Jays have dropped a series to their division rivals, the Baltimore Orioles.

Toronto dropped the series finale to Baltimore, 2-4, on Saturday (April 16) at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. With the loss, the Jays dropped the series 1-2 and finished the season 38-32. Baltimore is 43-25.

Toronto starter Yusei Kikuchi was tagged with the loss after allowing six runs, one earned, on six hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings.

He kept his strikeout and walk rates in check, but his pitch count was unmanageable, reaching 94. I struggled in the third through fifth innings, allowing three straight leadoff singles.

The fifth inning was the most frustrating. After giving up a solo home run to leadoff hitter Adley Lutzman, he got two outs, but a misplayed grounder by Ramon Urias was dropped by first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. to end the inning.

Manager John Schneider shook his head in frustration as he walked out to make a pitching change, a sight not often seen.

Kikuchi, who is in the second year of a three-year, $36 million contract, has been better than he was last season when he was pushed out of the starting rotation, but his innings pitched have left something to be desired. Since throwing 6 1/3 scoreless innings against Pittsburgh on May 8, he has barely made it through five innings or been pulled in the fifth inning in seven straight games. He has become a “five-inning starter. In 14 starts this season, he’s only pitched into the sixth inning four times.

The game was a close one. Baltimore scored first on Gunnar Henderson’s double to left field with two outs in the first inning, and Toronto 안전놀이터 responded with back-to-back home runs by Danny Jansen in the third and fifth innings. Baltimore answered right back with a solo homer by Lutzman in the bottom of the fifth, then added a run in the sixth off of Ima Garcia on consecutive hits by Austin Hays, Lutzman and Anthony Santander to make it 3-2. In the eighth, Hayes added a solo home run.

The game was decided on the mound. Toronto gave up runs in the fifth inning to Kikuchi, then Garcia in the sixth and Eric Swanson in the eighth, but Baltimore starter Tyler Wells pitched 6 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on five hits and one walk with eight strikeouts. Except for the two homers he gave up to Jansen, he was perfect.

Baltimore’s bullpen was also perfect. Closer Felix Batista relieved Yoenis Cano with runners on first and second in the top of the eighth for a four-out save.

Toronto’s Cavan Biggio hit a foul ball that just missed the right field foul pole in the bottom of the ninth inning. The hit was so close that the umpires went to video review. The foul was ruled illegal.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to top