Yusei Kikuchi leads the Blue Jays to their destination

Yusei Kikuchi leads the Blue Jays to safety


Yusei Kikuchi muzzled the Tampa Bay Rays and the Toronto Blue Jays won 4-1 Thursday at Rogers Centre.

Kikuchi (3- 4) allowed only one earned run and four hits in six innings of work. He struck out eight batters on the way.

Santiago Espinal sent an offering from Ryan Yarbrough into the stands in the seventh inning to triple their lead. His sixth long ball of the season also allowed Lourdes Gurriel Jr. to go around the trails.

In the second set, Teoscar Hernandez set the tone for the game by extending his arms for the eighth time this season.

Pitcher Trent Thornton allowed only one relief hit to Kikuchi. His successors David Phelps and Adam Cimber did even better, allowing no strikes to the safe spot for the Rays sluggers. The latter signed his fourth save of the season.

Yarbrough (0-4) took the loss after allowing eight hits and four earned runs in five and a third innings. Isaac Paredes was the author of the visitors' only point, a long ball in the fourth.

The Jays and the Rays will meet three more times in their series.

Elsewhere in Major League Baseball:

In Philadelphia, Nick Castellanos, Kyle Schwarber and Darick Hall each drove in three runs to lead the Phillies to a resounding 14-4 win over the Chicago Braves Atlanta.

In Houston, Luis Garcia (6-5) won a gunnery duel over Luis Severino (4-3) and the Astros held on to beat the New York Yankees 2 in 1.

In Cleveland, Andres Gimenez hit a game-winning two-run home run as the Guardians beat the Minnesota Twins 5-3.