Jays’ Yusei Kikuchi set for first start back in Seattle

Jays' Yusei Kikuchi set for first start back in Seattle


Jarred Kelenic struggled to hold back tears as he sat in the Seattle Mariners‘ dugout answering questions from reporters before the Thursday game against the Minnesota Twins, a walking boot on his left foot

The left fielder will be unavailable when the Mariners open a three-game series against the visiting Toronto Blue Jays on Friday after being placed on the 10-day injured list

Kelenic broke the foot kicking a water cooler after striking out in the ninth inning of Seattle’s 6-3 loss to Minnesota on Wednesday.

“I just, I just made a mistake,” he said, choking up. “I let the emotions get the best of me there. I just feel terrible, especially for the guys. I let the emotions get the best of me and I let them down. I take full responsibility for it. It’s on me. It just can’t happen.”

Kelenic battled through a nine-pitch at-bat with no outs and two runners on base against Twins closer Jhoan Duran, fouling off three 103-plus mph fastballs before being caught looking at a called third strike on a breaking pitch on the outside corner.

Kelenic took his frustrations out when he returned to the dugout.

“Nobody feels worse about it than Jarred does,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “I think it’s a learning lesson for him and for all players

“Players get frustrated when they’re not getting the results they’re looking for. But you’ve got to be able to control your emotions, it’s part of being a professional. … He let it get the best of him, and it affects all of us.”

Kelenic, a former first-round pick who was acquired by Seattle in the 2018 trade that sent Edwin Diaz and Robinson Cano to the New York Mets, was having a breakout season, batting .252 with 11 home runs and 45 RBIs.

His absence put a damper on the Mariners‘ 5-0 victory over the Twins on Thursday, when George Kirby pitched seven shutout innings and Teoscar Hernandez and Mike Ford homered

The Blue Jays defeated the visiting San Diego Padres 4-0 on Thursday to avoid a three-game sweep. Chris Bassitt and three relievers combined on a six-hitter, and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Alejandro Kirk homered

“Every win matters,” Bassitt said. “The (American League East) that we’re in is the best division in baseball, so you’re excited about any win.”

Guerrero added through translator regarding the playoff race, “I’m always on top of that. Since the first game of the season, I’m looking at the standings.”

Toronto left-hander Yusei Kikuchi (7-3, 4.13 ERA) is scheduled to start against his former team on Friday. The Mariners plan to send rookie right-hander Bryce Miller (6-3, 3.66) to the mound

Kikuchi, who is 0-1 with a 6.43 ERA in three starts this month, lasted just 4 2/3 innings on Sunday against the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks while struggling with his command. He allowed two runs, one earned, on two hits and three walks.

This will be his first appearance in Seattle since signing with the Blue Jays as a free agent before the 2022 season. In his only career start against the Mariners, on May 16, 2022, he got the victory by allowing just one hit in six scoreless innings

In three seasons with the Mariners, Kikuchi went 15-24 with a 4.97 ERA in 70 starts

Miller, who will be facing Toronto for the first time, pitched five scoreless innings on Sunday against the visiting Detroit Tigers in a 2-0 victory.

–Field Level Media


Original source here

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About the Author

Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.