Blue Jays fall to Mariners for 2nd straight loss
Toronto's Semien hits leadoff homer; Seattle's Kikuchi tosses 7 strong innings
Yusei Kikuchi pitched one-run ball over seven innings, Jake Fraley and Shed Long Jr. homered off Hyun Jin Ryu, and the Seattle Mariners beat the Toronto Blue Jays 7-2 Thursday.
Kikuchi (6-3) struck out six and allowed five hits in winning his third straight start, moving to 5-0 in his last seven appearances. After a leadoff home run by Marcus Semien, the left-hander didn't let another Blue Jay reach second base until Teoscar Hernandez led off the seventh with a double.
Fraley, Mitch Haniger and Kyle Seager each had two hits for Seattle, which finished its road trip with a 4-2 record. Paul Sewald got the final four outs, all by strikeout, for his first save.
Semien had three hits and Bo Bichette added two, including an eighth-inning RBI single, as Toronto absorbed consecutive losses for the first time since a five-game skid June 14-18.
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Ryu (7-5) worked four innings, his second-fewest this season, and allowed five runs on seven hits.
After Semien's leadoff homer — the 12th of his career — Fraley struck with a second-inning solo homer and Long lined a two-run shot to right-center in the third.
Toronto's Jekyll-and-Hyde bullpen was generally strong in relief of Ryu, as three pitchers limited Seattle to two hits over four innings before Tyler Chatwood allowed two runs in the ninth. Adam Cimber, acquired from Miami on Tuesday, made his Toronto debut and worked 1 1/3 innings.
Even though they were playing in their temporary Buffalo home, Toronto wore their red jerseys and caps emblazoned with a maple leaf in honour of Canada Day.
Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo expressed some disappointment about not being able to play before Canadian fans at Rogers Centre.
"We miss Toronto every day, but this is one of those days where it would be great be to be in Toronto, seeing all the red and the full house," Montoyo said. "Buffalo's been great to us, don't get me wrong. But today's is one of those days where we really miss Toronto."