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Jays Waste Great Kikuchi Start, Lose to Guardians

Toronto Blue Jays v Cleveland Guardians Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

Jays 0 Guardians 1

Yusei Kikuchi was terrific tonight. He allowed just 3 hits (unfortunately, 2 of them came in a row), 1 walk, with 6 strikeouts over 7 innings.

Kikuchi had some bad luck in the second. Oscar Gonzalez reached on an infield single. And then, new Guardian Romon Laureano bounced one down the third base line for a double, scoring the run. Neither ball hit hard, but such is baseball. But he pitched his way out of the runner on second and no outs spot, including grabbing a soft hit in front of him, looking the runner back at third and getting the out at first.

But we didn’t have any luck against Tanner Bibee. He threw 7 innings, allowing 6 hits, no walks, with 6 strikes

We had a good chance in the top of the third. Whit Merrifield had a one-out single. Brandon Belt followed with a nice bunt single, and Vladimir Guerrero beat out an infield single to third to load the bases. But George Springer and Daulton Varsho both struck out.

We had some hard-hit balls caught. Vlad lined one to right in the first (.590 xba) but caught, and Cavan Biggio lined one to left in the fourth, also caught.

Vlad singled in the eighth, but that was it.

We had a shot in the ninth. Daulton Varsho led off with a bunt single and stole second. Terrific baseball. But Danny Jansen hit a soft fly to right. Cavan Biggio struck out. John sent Matt Chapman in to pinch hit and he chopped one over the pitcher, but too short for the third baseman to make a play. Runners on the corners for Alejandro Kirk, pinch-hitting for DeJong, but he hit a fly to right, and that was the game

In all, we had 9 hits, all singles. Merrifield had 3, Vlad 2. Belt, Varsho, Chapman and Springer had 1 each.

Génesis Cabrera pitched a quick eighth.

Jays of the Day: Kikuchi (.208 WPA).

The Other Award: Springer (-.152), Varsho (-.145), DeJong (.104), Belt (-.102, despite the bunt single), Jansen (-.230), Biggio (-.179), and Kirk (-.162).

Tomorrow we have Gausman (8-6, 3.20) vs. Logan Allen (5-4, 3.65).