Blue Jays’ Kikuchi hit hard by Tigers, pulled after three innings

Watch as Detroit Tigers' Spencer Torkelson crushes a deep home run off Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Yusei Kikuchi to help extend his team's lead in the bottom of the third inning on Sunday.

Sunday was simply not Yusei Kikuchi’s day.

The left-handed Japanese pitcher was pulled just three innings into his mid-day start after giving up five runs, all earned, to the Detroit Tigers. His day was capped off by a Spencer Torkelson solo homer in the third that put the Blue Jays down 5-0 at that point.

Unfortunately, the bullpen wasn’t able to limit the damage with Trevor Richards, Zach Pop, Yimi Garcia and Jordan Romano allowing nine earned runs on nine hits. Erik Swanson was the only pitcher to record a cleaning innings.

It’s been a tough stretch of appearances for Kikuchi as he’s 0-3 with two no-decisions in his last five outings. Although, he was coming off a quality start against the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday, giving up three runs (two earned) and five hits through six innings.

He also hasn’t had much success against the Tigers; he’s 1-1 in his career against Detroit with a 4.71 ERA through four starts.

In fairness to Kikuchi, the Jays didn’t do him any favours with their continued struggles hitting the ball with runners in scoring position. At the top of the third before the lefty’s final inning of work, Toronto had a bases-loaded, no-out situation that led to zero runs scored.

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