Kikuchi shuts out Blue Jays for Mariners

TORONTO – Starter Yusei Kikuchi threw a complete-game shutout, and his Seattle Mariners clubbed four home runs in a 7-0 win against the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday.

The Japanese left-handed pitcher gave up only two hits in his outing and never allowed a runner past second base. Kikuchi (5-8) struck out eight Blue Jays and retired his final 17 batters in order.

The Blue Jays were without Vladimir Guerrero Jr. The rookie third baseman left Saturday’s game after two innings with some left-knee discomfort. An MRI revealed no severe damage.

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He tweaked his knee cutting off a groundball in the second inning of a 4-3 loss. Guerrero suffered a left-knee strain that kept him out of the lineup in double-A last summer but this ailment is unrelated.

Guerrero has been listed as day-to-day with no timetable for his return. The Blue Jays have been cautious with Guerrero all season, even when healthy.

Toronto has Monday off before beginning a three-game series in Los Angeles against the Dodgers on Tuesday.

After the good vibrations of splitting the four-game series with the New York Yankees and winning the first two against the Texas Rangers, Toronto dropped three of its last four games to finish the 10-game homestand at 5-5.

Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager, who hit the game-winning homer in Saturday’s game, swatted his 16th to right field in the second inning off Toronto opener Wilmer Font (3-3).

Seattle checked in with three runs in the fourth inning off Toronto pitcher Thomas Pannone. Austin Nola led off the inning with a solo blast to right field and then catcher Tom Murphy smacked a two-run shot with Daniel Vogelbach aboard.

Mariners outfielder Keon Broxton added a homer to centre field in the seventh inning to increase his team’s lead to 5-0. Broxton scored again in the ninth inning. He drew a leadoff walk and was driven home on Dylan Moore’s double down the right-field line.

Moore scored on Tim Lopes single to centre.

The only time the Blue Jays threatened was a leadoff double to left field in the third inning from Guerrero’s replacement, Brandon Drury. But Kikuchi coaxed Danny Jansen into a fly ball to left field. Billy McKinney then popped to short and a line drive to short from Bo Bichette stranded Drury at second base.