Kikuchi struggles, Moreno shines in tough loss to Baltimore

Stefan Luciani
FiredUp Network Sports Writer


Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Final Score: 6-5

TORONTO–As a baseball player, everyone's least favourite form of baseball to play is catch up. Yet when Yusei Kikuchi is on the mound for Toronto, that’s all the Blue Jays offence seems to find themselves doing. 


Following three tough outings for the Japanese lefty, including his most recent lasting just 2/3 of an inning, Kikuchi looked solid early in Tuesday night’s start against the Orioles. But a finishing line of four runs allowed on five hits including two home runs, saw the Blue Jays unable to recover, dropping the second of four games with Baltimore 6-5. 


Ryan Mountcastle continued his success against the Blue Jays, drawing first blood in the top of the third with a two-run shot off of Kikuchi for a 2-0 O’s lead. Toronto would take on back in the bottom of the frame when Matt Chapman was brought in to score making it 2-1.


Once again Kikuchi made things tougher for the offence though, surrendering a double to Robinson Chirinos just a half-inning later to give the Orioles their two-run lead back. Lucky for Toronto, ther remembered they have arguably the best lineup in professional baseball as an unlucky Matt Chapman of late crushed a two-run longball over the wall in left field to even the tide up in the bottom of the fourth.


But once again just a half-inning later, Kikuchi undid their efforts, surrendering another home run, this time a solo shot to Austin Hays, to give Baltimore the lead back. The O’s would tack on a few more to make it 6-3.


Toronto would battle back in the eighth to pull within one, but the damage was done, and the Orioles would hold on for the victory. 


One player who did impress on Tuesday night was 22-year-old Gabriel Moreno who made his home debut, finishing with a 4-for-3 line, cashing in two RBIs. 


“I was comfortable,” Moreno said of his Rogers Centre debut. “I got nervous for a little bit, but after the first inning, I played my game and got results.”



The Blue Jays announced Tuesday that LHP Hyun Jin Ryu (left elbow) will miss the remainder of the regular season and potentially some of 2023 due to an injury to his left UCL. It is unclear how severe the injury is and doctors won’t know until surgery, but he will need a procedure to either fix some of the damage, or completely operate on the UCL, otherwise known as Tommy John surgery. Charlie Montoyo has yet to comment officially on his spot in the rotation, but based on performance, the assumption is that Ross Stripling will indefinitely keep hold of a starter position, meaning the Blue Jays will be assessing bullpen moves before the deadline. 




The Blue jays and Orioles will go for game three of their four-game set Wednesday night in Toronto. Baltimore will send Bruce Zimmerman (2-5, 5.52 ERA) to the mound as the jays will counter with Jose Berrios (5-2, 4.73 ERA) who seems to be coming into his own through his recent starts. First pitch is just after 7PM ET at Rogers Centre.