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Where EAST meets the Northwest


BIG-LEAGUE SHUTOUT. Starting pitcher Yusei Kikuchi of the Seattle Mariners throws a pitch against the Toronto Blue Jays during a baseball game in Toronto. Kikuchi threw his first big-league shutout in the game. (Fred Thornhill/The Canadian Press via AP)

From The Asian Reporter, V29, #17 (September 2, 2019), page 9.

Seattle’s Yusei Kikuchi throws 2-hitter for first shutout

By Ian Harrison

The Associated Press

TORONTO — After watching his team use seven pitchers in the previous game, Seattle’s Yusei Kikuchi wanted to give the bullpen a break.

His first big-league shutout fit the bill perfectly.

Kikuchi needed just 96 pitches to complete a two-hitter that led the Mariners over the Toronto Blue Jays, 7-0.

Kikuchi (5-8) struck out eight, walked one, and retired the final 14 batters in his first win since beating Baltimore on June 23. The rookie left-hander went 0-3 with a 6.53 ERA in eight starts covering 40 innings between victories.

"It being a bullpen day yesterday for the team, I felt like I was able to step up," Kikuchi said through a translator. "I haven’t been getting the results I’ve wanted to and I felt like I was good for the team today, so I was proud of that."

The 28-year-old Kikuchi was a star in Japan before signing a $56-million, four-year deal with Seattle in the offseason. This was his 26th start for the Mariners and first complete game.

"Yusei was really focused today," manager Scott Servais said. "Outstanding. Heck of an outing. If you can throw a complete game anywhere at any time in the big leagues in less than 100 pitches, it really doesn’t get any better than that."

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