Adjusting to America, becoming a dad and losing his own father are just some of the things that have happened this year to Seattle’s Yusei Kikuchi. However, on Sunday he was focused on baseball and pitched the best game of his young Major League career.
In his previous eight starts Kikuchi went 0-3 with five no decisions. The M’s broadcast mentioned a number of times that before Sunday’s start manager Scott Servais talked to the Japanese star about changing some mechanics.
Kikuchi struck out eight Blue Jays, he retired the last 14 batters and he only allowed three total base runners. No Toronto runner made it past second base. Everything was coming up Yusei today.
Sunday’s win marked the first win for Kikuchi since the June 23 win over Baltimore, and it’s Kikuchi’s first complete game and shutout.
The Mariners offense was up to the task of providing runs on Sunday, something that hasn’t always happened for Kikuchi. Kyle Seager upped his hitting streak to 12 games and gave Seattle a 1-0 lead with a solo blast to right field in the second.
For the second day in a row, Seager and Austin Nola each hit a home run. Nola’s dinger gave Seattle a 2-0 lead.
Tom Murphy blasted yet another home run, a two-run shot putting the M’s up 4-0. Keon Broxton wrapped up Seattle’s Home Run Derby with his seventh inning homer.
Dylan Moore and Tim Lopes each added RBI base knocks in the ninth as insurance for Kikuchi. He wouldn’t need it. Kikuchi finished the Jays on a pop-out, fly out and strike out.
Mariners win 7-0.
Winning Pitcher, (5-8) Yusei Kikuchi: CGSO (9.0 IP), 0 ER, 8 K, 1 BB
Losing Pitcher, (3-3) Wilmer Font: 2.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 K, 0 BB
The Mariners now head to St. Petersburg to battle the Tampa Bay Rays in a three-game series. Pregame coverage starts Monday at 3 p.m. on 750 The Game.
Here are the highlights from the game:
Top 2nd … Kyle Seager Home Run, 1-0 Mariners
Top 4th … Austin Nola Home Run, 2-0 Mariners
Top 4th … Tom Murphy 2-Run Home Run, 4-0 Mariners
Top 7th … Keon Broxton Home Run, 5-0 Mariners
Top 9th … Dylan Moore RBI Double, 6-0 Mariners
Top 9th … Tim Lopes RBI Single, 7-0 Mariners
Final Call, 7-0 Mariners Win!