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Instant Reaction: Yusei Kikuchi gave up four solo home runs in a 7-3 defeat to the Red Sox

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Photo credit:© Dan Hamilton - USA Today
Ryley Delaney
24 days ago
For the fifth straight series, the Blue Jays have lost the opener.
Once again, the Blue Jays had a chance to reach the .500 mark for the first time since late April, once again, the Blue Jays lost their opportunity. This time, they fell down early to the Boston Red Sox and never recovered, losing 7-3 to bring their record to 35-37.
Boston got the party started early, as Tyler O’Neill and Rafael Devers hit their 13th and 14th home run respectively. Man, what an acquisition O’Neill has been for the Red Sox, and it makes you wonder why the Jays didn’t bring home the Canadian outfielder.
The Blue Jays got one back in the bottom of the second inning, but Ceddanne Rafaela hit his eighth home run of the season in the next half inning to restore Boston’s two-run lead. Shortly after, O’Neill tied Devers for the team in the lead for big flies with his second of the game.
In the top of the fourth, Bobby Dalbec hit a single on a line drive with an error by Kevin Kiermaier, giving the Red Sox a 5-1 lead. The Blue Jays responded in the bottom of the sixth, as Justin Turner hit his first home run since April 29 to cut the lead to 5-2.
Thankfully, there were no home runs from the Red Sox, but they did score two more. Former Blue Jay Rob Refsynder hit a double that scored a run, while Rafael Devers hit a sac fly to make it 7-2. Davis Schneider hit his ninth-home run, a career-high, to make it 7-3.

Things worth mentioning…

Yusei Kikuchi easily had his worst start of the season, pitching four innings with five earned runs and seven strikeouts. On top of that, he allowed four solo home runs, which leads me to believe that the Red Sox were picking something up on him.
Trevor Richards continues to pitch well in whatever role he’s given, as he pitched two innings while walking and striking out a batter. The K% is down, but Richards has a 2.92 ERA for the season, and if the Jays elect to sell (which they absolutely should), Richards should get a nice prospect in return.
Brandon Eisert made his big league debut on Monday, walking three batters but pitching two scoreless innings. The ERA in the minors isn’t great, but that’s what giving up seven earned runs in the first two thirds of an inning will do. He’s been good since.
Justin Turner had his best game in a while, hitting a double and going deep for the first since April 29. Funnily enough, that was the same game the Blue Jays won to push their record to 15-15, the last time they were .500 this season.
Ernie Clement continued to prove he deserves to be in the big leagues, going 3-4 with three singles. In his last four games, he has 9 hits in 13 at-bats. Play him everyday!
Speaking of playing every day, why weren’t Spencer Horwitz and Addison Barger in the lineup? Both have been good since they were recalled, and it was a righty on the mound today. Not saying it’d make a difference in the game, but let the kids play.
Up next: For the fourth series in a row, the Blue Jays look to avoid losing the series just two games in. Each time, they’ve staved off the series loss in game two, but this isn’t conducive to a postseason team, much less a contender. Chris Bassitt will start for the Jays.

As always, you can follow me on Twitter @Ryley_L_D.

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