TORONTO (AP) – Yusei Kikuchi pitched his first shutout in the major leagues, throwing a two-hitter Sunday that led the Seattle 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.
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.
Tom Murphy hit a two-run homer and the Mariners went deep four times. Kyle Seager, Austin Nola and Keon Broxton added solo home runs for Seattle.
Toronto was held scoreless for the 10th time and second time in six games. The Blue Jays lost 1-0 last Sunday in a game started by Masahiro Tanaka of the Yankees.
Seager extended his hitting streak to a season-high 12 games with a leadoff homer against Toronto opener Wilmer Font in the second, his 16th of the season and second in two games. Seager has homered seven times during his hitting streak, and 10 times during a stretch in which he’s hit safely in 22 of 23 games.
Seager’s homer was the first run off Font (2-1) in five opening appearances this month. The right-hander had gone 9 1/3 innings without giving up a run.
Thomas Pannone took over in the third, and the Mariners connected twice off the left-hander in a three-run fourth. Nola hit a leadoff shot, his sixth, and Murphy hit a two-out drive, his 13th.
Broxton made it 5-0 with a leadoff drive off right-hander Sam Gaviglio in the seventh.
Kikcuhi set down the first six batters before Brandon Drury doubled to begin the third. Drury was nearly doubled off when shortstop Dee Gordon made a sliding catch on Billy McKinney’s short flare into left, but second baseman Nola couldn’t hold Gordon’s throw. Bo Bichette flied out to end the inning.
Randal Grichuk hit a one-out single in the fourth but Kikuchi struck out Teoscar Hernandez and got Justin Smoak to fly out.
Toronto’s Rowdy Tellez walked to begin the fifth but was erased one out later when Danny Jansen grounded into a double play.
Mariners: SS J.P. Crawford got the day off.
Blue Jays: An MRI on the left knee of 3B Vladimir Guerrero Jr. showed no major damage, and the rookie slugger will not require a stint on the injured list. Guerrero tweaked his knee playing defense Saturday and left after two innings. He is day to day. Speaking through a translator, Guerrero said the injury is not as bad as the left knee strain that sidelined him for more than a month at Double-A last season.
Mariners: LHP Marco Gonzales (12-10, 4.26) starts Monday as Seattle opens a three-game series at Tampa Bay. LHP Brendan McKay (2-2, 5.08) starts for the Rays.
Blue Jays: Toronto is off Monday. RHP Sean Reid-Foley (2-3, 3.00) will feature Tuesday, possibly following an opener, when the Blue Jays begin a three-game series at Dodger Stadium. Los Angeles has not named a starter.