Blue Jays don’t come back as Orioles lead Mountcastle-led offense to victory
Control issues and the long ball proved to be the downfall of Blue Jays starter Yusei Kikuchi on Tuesday night. The Baltimore Orioles capitalized on his spotty performance to a 6-5 win at Rogers Center.
Kikuchi (2-3) walked four times and allowed two homers in over four innings.
« He just has to throw shots, » Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said. « It’s a bit difficult to play behind someone when they (throw) too many non-competitive pitches.
The Blue Jays have won just one of Kikuchi’s last five starts. The southpaw didn’t make it out of the first inning in a loss to Kansas City last week.
“When he launches strikes, he gets people out,” Montoyo said. « But when you throw behind and walk people, people are going to score. »
Ryan Mountcastle hit a two-run homer in the third inning and Austin Hays added a solo shot in the fifth that ended the night for Kikuchi.
« Both weren’t on pitches that I didn’t run, they just had too much plate, » Kikuchi said via a translator. « Being a little thinner and executing my pitches would be key. [to improving]. »
Toronto third baseman Matt Chapman homered and scored twice while rookie catcher Gabriel Moreno had three hits and drove in two runs.
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It was Baltimore’s first win over Toronto (36-25) in eight games and the Blue Jays’ fifth loss in 19 total games.
Kikuchi allowed four earned runs and five hits.
« I think we’ve done a really good job of making it work, » Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. « We were ready to strike the strikes. »
Moreno led to Santiago Espinal with a one-out single in the eighth inning to make it a one-run game. Baltimore’s Jorge Lopez got the last five outs for his ninth save.
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Mountcastle opened the scoring turning on a 1-0 pitch for their 10th home run of the year. The Baltimore first baseman had three hits on the night.
Chapman, who has missed Toronto’s last three games with wrist pain, isolated Baltimore starter Jordan Lyles (4-5) in the third inning and scored when Bo Bichette hit a slow chopper with the bases loaded.
Baltimore (27-36) shot another run in the fourth but Chapman tied the game in the bottom half with a two-run shot for his eighth homer of the season.
Jorge Mateo made it 6-3 on a Cedric Mullins RBI single in the sixth inning. Trent Thornton came in relief and brought Hays to bat in a late-inning double play.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr., started with a brace in the Toronto half and scored on a single by Moreno, who made his first home start from behind the plate since making his major league debut last Saturday.
Lyles went 5 1/3 innings and allowed four earned runs, five hits and three walks while striking out seven. Kikuchi had four strikeouts.
Toronto defeats Baltimore 10-8. The announced attendance was 23,106 and the match lasted three hours and 12 minutes.
Ryu to undergo surgery, expected to miss rest of season
Toronto Blue Jays left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu is expected to miss the remainder of the season with a left elbow injury that will require surgery.
General manager Ross Atkins said Dr. Neal ElAttrache will determine during the procedure whether Ryu needs Tommy John surgery or a partial ulnar collateral ligament repair.
« We were hoping there was the potential for a conservative path and weighed the pros and cons of that and ultimately decided it was best to move forward with the procedure, » Atkins said Tuesday during a hearing. a press briefing at the Rogers Centre.
His speed plummeted in his last start, a 7-3 win over the Chicago White Sox on June 1. Ryu left the match after four innings.
Atkins said the injury was not acute in nature, but rather chronic « stretching » and « pulling » of the ligament. Over time, he added, the problem can cause tightness in the forearm as well as loss of dexterity.
« He’s a very tough and laid-back person, but he’s extremely disappointed not to be part of this [lineup] short-term,” Atkins said.
Depending on the type of proceedings, Ryu may not be able to return in 2023, when he is in the final season of his four-year, $80 million contract with the Blue Jays.
Ryu, 35, served as a rotational anchor for the Blue Jays during the truncated 2020 campaign and was a reliable starter again last year. He was 2-0 in six starts this season with a 5.67 ERA.
Ryu led the major leagues in 2019 with a 2.32 ERA and finished second in voting to Cy Young that year. He has struggled with injuries throughout his career since making his major league debut with the Dodgers in 2013.
Ross Stripling will continue to play in Ryu’s place in the rotation, Atkins said, adding the team will continue to look to make potential roster improvements before the August 2 trade deadline.
The Blue Jays also placed right-hander Julian Merryweather on the 15-day IL with left abdominal strain. Right-hander Jeremy Beasley was recalled from Triple-A Buffalo ahead of Tuesday night’s home game against the Baltimore Orioles.