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Yusei Kikuchi struck out three, Brian Serven drove in five runs, and more as Blue Jays pick up first Grapefruit League win over Pirates

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Photo credit:© Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
Cam Lewis
1 month ago
The Toronto Blue Jays are officially in the win column.
After dropping their first two Grapefruit League games of the year over the weekend, the Blue Jays took down the Pittsburgh Pirates by a score of 8-4 in Dunedin on Monday.

Things worth mentioning…

Yusei Kikuchi made his first start of 2024 for the Blue Jays and picked up right where he left off last season. The left-hander tossed two scoreless frames, struck out three batters, and allowed just one hit and zero walks. He threw 30 pitches, 19 of them for strikes, and struck batters out using his curveball, changeup, and fastball.
After Kikuchi tossed his two innings and was brought out of the game, Chris Bassittcame in and tossed two scoreless innings of his own. Jordan Romano and Chad Green also had scoreless frames while Yimi Garcia, Tim Mayza, and Genesis Cabrera scattered four runs, though only two were earned.
The top three hitters (Bo Bichette, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., and Justin Turner) combined for a run in the first inning with some solid contact and the bottom of the lineup (Santiago Espinal, Nathan Lukes, and Cam Eden) strung together a walk and a couple of hits to add another run with two outs in the second.
The star of the day offensively for the Blue Jays was Brian Serven, a catcher the team selected off waivers back in January. The 28-year-old came into the game as the designated hitter after Justin Turner has his three at-bats and went 2-for-2 with a home run and a double along with five runs driven in.
Serven was selected by the Colorado Rockies in the fifth round of the 2016 MLB Draft. He’s put up some big numbers for Colorado’s Triple-A team in the past but has a .195 batting average and a .562 on-base plus slugging percentage over 73 games in the big leagues in his career.
 
Next up… The Blue Jays will head to Lakeland to face the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday. Alek Manoah will take the mound looking to start the year off right after a disastrous season in 2023.

ARTICLE PRESENTED BY BETANO

 

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