Another Kikuchi start, another Kikuchi disaster as Jays fall to Orioles 7-3
Photo credit:© Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
By Evan Stack5 months ago
Rogers Communications may have some interest brewing in co-ownership, as Ryan Mountcastle and Kyle Bradish are a duo that the Jays can’t find an answer for. That being said, the Blue Jays dropped another frustrating game to the Baltimore Orioles 7-3 on Monday night. The Jays fell behind early once again, the 6th straight game in which they have failed to score first.
The main culprit was once again Yusei Kikuchi, who put together another less-than-stellar performance, to put it nicely. John Schneider told the media Kikuchi earned another start despite his subpar performance last week against the Orioles, but he didn’t give the Jays much of a reason for him to get another one. It was a Kikuchi-esque start right off the bat, as Baltimore scored a run in the 1st from an Anthony Santander RBI single.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Blue Jays-Orioles game without Ryan Mountcastle hitting a home run. He absolutely tattoed a Kikuchi fastball into the left field seats in the 3rd inning, giving the Orioles a 3-0 lead.
The Blue Jays would fight back in the bottom of the 3rd, as they worked the bases loaded against Kyle Bradish. Gurriel Jr. was due up, and that’s who the Jays want when the bases are juiced. Gurriel continued to put up legend-type numbers in that category, driving in two with a two-run single. Teoscar Hernandez would then strike out, and Bo Bichette would ground into a double play to kill the momentum. More on those two later.
The Kikuchi meltdown would hit its apex in the 4th inning, as the Orioles pinned another three runs on Kikuchi. He struck out Austin Hays for the first out, but Jorge Mateo reached first one batter later on a throwing error by Bo Bichette. After a walk to Terrin Vavra, Kikuchi tried to pick off Mateo at second, but his throw went into center field, allowing both runners to advance another 90 feet. Both the Bichette and Kikuchi errors turned to be costly, as Mateo would score on a Tyler Nevin fielder’s choice to make it 4-2. Ryan McKenna would double in Vavra, forcing Schneider’s hand to pull Kikuchi.
Trevor Richards would allow another run on a sacrifice fly, as well as another run in the 5th to put the Orioles ahead 7-2.
Kikuchi’s final line: 3 and 1/3 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, and 3 K’s. A type of line that says, “How about the bullpen?”
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit a solo home run in the bottom of the 5th, but that was the end of what the Blue Jays could get off of Bradish. It proved to be another rough offensive outing for Toronto. Although tying the Orioles with 8 hits apiece, they lacked clutch hitting (outside of Gurriel), going 1-for-7 with RISP, and leaving 8 on base. Hernandez and Bichette were a combined 1-for-7 with three strikeouts, including Bichette’s GIDP with the Jays threatening in the 3rd.
Bradish, whose ERA was 6.42 coming into tonight, was able to keep the Jays in check most of the night, allowing the dominant Orioles bullpen (3rd in the MLB in bullpen ERA), to close out the game.
The Yankees lost again tonight, as they continue to literally beg the Blue Jays to catch them in the division standings. However, the Jays are returning the favor. They send Alek Manoah to the mound tomorrow to face Dean Kremer, as the Jays are in need of wins, since Baltimore sits on Toronto’s heels in the wild card standings.
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