Yusei Kikuchi quiets the Dodgers through six as Toronto steals series with 8-1 win

Photo credit:© Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Evan Stack
9 months ago
After a heartbreaker last night, Toronto had to get up off the mat and play the rubber match of a 3-game set against the Dodgers this afternoon. The bats and the pitching soundly worked together, something that fans have been hoping would happen these days (especially during this road swing), as the Blue Jays defeated LA 8-1 to win the series.

Things worth mentioning

Yusei Kikuchi’s bounce-back season has been a consistent theme throughout the course of this season, but it’s even more remarkable to put it into the context of something like, “From the 2022 disaster to shutting down the Dodgers through six in 2023.” That’s exactly the effort the Blue Jays got today from Kikuchi, as he posted his 6th quality start of the season against the NL West-leading LA Dodgers on Wednesday afternoon.
Through six innings and 103 pitches, he allowed seven hits, one run, two walks, and eight strikeouts. He had to work out of multiple jams, but the fact that he did so is encouraging in itself. It raised his pitch count too, but Toronto maxed him out and saved as much of the bullpen as they could.
As I mentioned earlier, the offence paired nicely with Kikuchi’s production on the mound. Toronto picked up a couple of small ball runs early in the game with a sac fly from Whit Merrifield in the second inning and a RBI single from Brandon Belt in the 3rd. They broke the game open in the 5th inning as Merrifield launched a three-run home run off of Tony Gonsolin to give the Blue Jays a 5-0 lead – five of Merrifield’s seven homers this season have come in the month of July.
Danny Jansen homered in the 6th inning off of Dodgers reliever Alex Vesia, his 13th home run of the season. Jansen has moved into a three-way tie for home runs on the team, and he’s hitting .307 in the month of July. Bo Bichette added on a two-run single in the 8th inning for further insurance, finishing the final two games of this road trip 7-for-11 with a home run, a double, and 2 RBIs.
What’s Next: Toronto takes a day off to travel home. Friday night, Sho-time comes to town as the Angels and Jays will square off for a three-game tilt. Kevin Gausman gets the start for Toronto with no starter yet named for the Angels. The Blue Jays will dodge Shohei Ohtani on the mound, as he was named a starter during today’s doubleheader against Detroit.


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