Kikuchi, Mariners rout Yanks

The News-Times - - SPORTS -

NEW YORK — Yu­sei Kikuchi was bril­liant on the mound in his Yan­kee Sta­dium de­but, Ryon Healy had four ex­tra-base hits and the Seat­tle Mariners routed New York 10-1 on Wed­nes­day night.

Healy home­red and hit three dou­bles to help the Mariners win for only the sec­ond time in 10 games. Mitch Haniger and Edwin En­car­na­cion also went deep as Seat­tle (20-19), which opened 13-2 this year, snapped a seven-game los­ing streak in the Bronx and avoided drop­ping be­low .500 for the first time since the fi­nal day of the 2017 sea­son.

Kikuchi (2-1) pitched three-hit ball over 7 2⁄3 in­nings. After the game, Yan­kees man­ager Aaron Boone said he was aware cam­eras showed a dark sub­stance — per­haps il­le­gal pine tar — smudged un­der the brim of the rookie’s cap.

“I’ll take a look at it,” Boone said.

After walk­ing his first bat­ter, Kikuchi re­tired 16 in a row be­fore Mike Tauch­man fisted a bloop dou­ble over third base with one out in the sixth for New York’s first hit. DJ LeMahieu fol­lowed with a soft sin­gle to right field, and Luke Voit’s sac­ri­fice fly pre­vented a shutout.

Fac­ing an in­jury-de­pleted Yan­kees lineup stacked with eight right-handed hit­ters, Kikuchi was in com­plete con­trol dur­ing his sec­ond con­sec­u­tive stel­lar out­ing. The rookie left­hander from Japan struck out three and walked one while throw­ing 74 strikes on 106 pitches, his most in nine ma­jor league starts.

The 27-year-old Kikuchi signed a four-year, $56 mil­lion con­tract with Seat­tle in the off­sea­son that could be worth up to $109 mil­lion over seven sea­sons if op­tions are ex­er­cised. Last time out, he al­lowed only one run and three hits at Cleve­land, strik­ing out 10 in seven in­nings.

En­car­na­cion had a sac­ri­fice fly in the first and a solo shot off Jonathan Loaisiga (1-1) in the fifth. It was En­car­na­cion’s sec­ond homer in two nights, fourth in five games and 12th of the sea­son.

Haniger con­nected lead­ing off the third, and Healy hit a two-run shot in the eighth. He fin­ished 4 for 5.

Loaisiga was re­called from the mi­nors to start in place of in­jured James Pax­ton, who was ac­quired from Seat­tle in an off­sea­son

trade. A year ago on this date, Pax­ton pitched a no­hit­ter for the Mariners in his na­tive Canada against the Toronto Blue Jays.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Mariners: SS Tim Beck­ham was rested. … The team ex­pects 3B Kyle Sea­ger (left hand) will be ready to come off the 60-day in­jured list when he’s el­i­gi­ble on May 25. Sea­ger could be­gin a mi­nor league re­hab as­sign­ment in the next five or six days. … Seat­tle man­ager Scott Ser­vais said his guess is live bat­ting prac­tice will prob­a­bly be the next step for LHP Wade Le­Blanc (strained right oblique).

Yan­kees: C Gary Sanchez and OF Brett Gard­ner were rested. … There is a chance CF Aaron Hicks (lower back strain) will be re­in­stated from the in­jured list this week­end when New York plays at first­place Tampa Bay, Boone said. Oth­er­wise, it could be on the fol­low­ing home­s­tand next week. Hicks, side­lined all sea­son, played nine in­nings in cen­ter field and went 0 for 3 with a walk Wed­nes­day night in his third re­hab game for Class A Tampa. He is hit­less in 11 at-bats and sched­uled for a day off Thurs­day. … 3B Gio Ur­shela came up hob­bling after he fouled a ball off the bot­tom of his left knee in the sev­enth. He flied out to end the in­ning and was re­placed in the field. X-rays were neg­a­tive, and Ur­shela has a bruised knee. … OFDH Gian­carlo Stan­ton (bi­ceps/shoul­der) planned to hit off the ma­chine in the in­door cage, Boone said.

UP NEXT

Mariners: RHP Mike Leake (2-3, 4.91 ERA) pitches Thurs­day night in the fi­nale of a four-game se­ries. He lost both his pre­vi­ous starts against the Yan­kees, but hasn’t faced them since 2014 with Cincin­nati.

Yan­kees: After a rough start to the sea­son, LHP J.A. Happ (1-3, 4.93) has a

3.12 ERA in his last four out­ings. He is 4-2 with a

5.06 ERA in seven ca­reer starts against the Mariners, who traded him to Pitts­burgh in July 2015.

Kathy Willens / Associated Press

The Yan­kees’ Luke Voit re­acts after strik­ing out swing­ing dur­ing the eighth in­ning Wed­nes­day.

Kathy Willens / Associated Press

Mariners start­ing pitcher Yu­sei Kikuchi de­liv­ers dur­ing the third in­ning against the Yan­kees on Wed­nes­day.

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