Kikuchi deals as offensive life helps Blue Jays to series opening win over Mariners

Stefan Luciani
FiredUp Network Sports Writer

@stefanluciani_

Tuesday, May 17, 2022


Final Score: 6-1

TORONTO--When the Toronto Blue Jays signed Yusei Kikuchi to a three-year deal this offseason, it was starts like these that he was expected to bring to the table. The 30-year-old delivered arguably his best showing to date against his former ball club on Monday night, to help lift the Jays over the Mariners 6-2.

 

The Japanese lefty surrendered just a single hit through his six innings pitched, while striking out six. This, paired with a 10-hit effort from the offence, was exactly the type of performance that the Blue Jays were looking for after what has been a tough couple of weeks.

 

The Mariners went with Chris Flexen on the mound, who struggled to consistently find his spot. Despite striking out seven, the righty gave up three runs on six hits including two long balls early in the game, through his 5 1/3 innings of work.

 

Toronto jumped ahead early in this one as Bo Bichette cracked one over the left-field wall in the bottom of the opening frame to grab a 1-0 lead. Matt Chapman decided he wanted in on the action as well, crushing a solo shot of his own to straightaway center field just an inning later.

 

But, for what seems like the first time in a long time, the Jays kept the offence rolling through something other than home runs. Raimel Tapia laced a single into center field to bring home Vinny Capra in the sixth to give the Jays a comfortable - for now - 3-0 lead.

 

Seattle posed a threat in the seventh though when Eugenio Suarez smacked a solo shot off Trevor Richards to get the Mariners on the board. Seattle then loaded the bases before Yimi Garcia was brought in and escaped the jam to keep the Mariners at bay.

 

The Jays would tally on a couple more runs late in this one to take the first of three against their AL West opponent. 

 

INJURY REPORT

Blue Jays: INF Cavan Biggio (COVID-19) has been reinstated for a stint down in Triple-A Buffalo.

LHP Tim Mayza (forearm inflammation) has been placed on 15-day IL. Andrew Vasquez has been promoted from Triple-A Buffalo in his place.

 

Mariners: Former Blue Jay and reigning Cy Young winner Robbie Ray is not believed to have traveled with the team to Toronto. The team hasn’t officially released a statement, but sources believe it is surrounding Ray’s lack of vaccination.



LOOK AHEAD

Jose Berrios (2-2, 5.82 ERA) will head to the mound Tuesday in hopes of picking up some consistency which he seems to be lacking to start 2022. The Mariners will look to Logan Gilbert (4-1, 2.13 ERA) who has been solid to start the season for Seattle. First pitch goes at Rogers Center at just after 7PM ET.