Yusei Kikuchi’s career-high 13 strikeouts go to waste as Blue Jays falter vs. Giants

Brett Wisely hit a tying RBI single with two outs in the ninth inning, and Tyler Fitzgerald scored the winning run moments later on a wild pitch by Trevor Richards, rallying the San Francisco Giants past the Toronto Blue Jays 4-3 on Tuesday night.

Yusei Kikuchi struck out a career-high 13 pitching into the eighth inning, and Ernie Clement’s three-run homer in the seventh put the Blue Jays in good position — denying Blake Snell a chance at his first victory of the year.

Clement connected off Ryan Walker, who allowed a one-out walk to Danny Jansen and pinch-hitter Spencer Horwitz’s double before Clement’s drive.

Blake Snell, the reigning NL Cy Young Award winner who signed a $62 million, two-year contract in March, came off the injured list from a left groin strain that sidelined him since June 3 and duelled with fellow lefty Kikuchi.

Kikuchi’s winless stretch reached five starts during which he is 0-3 since a victory at Milwaukee on June 11. He struck out the side in order in the second and had six Ks over his initial three innings before Heliot Ramos — the Giants’ first homegrown All-Star since Chili Davis in 1986 — homered leading off the fourth to put San Francisco ahead.

Yusei Kikuchi collects strikeout No. 13, a new career high. ???? pic.twitter.com/VpXBm45Ej6

— MLB (@MLB) July 10, 2024

Kikuchi topped his 12 strikeouts on July 23, 2021, against Oakland and this was his first with double-digit Ks since.

The Blue Jays are visiting this side of San Francisco Bay to play the Giants for the first time since splitting a two-game set May 14-15, 2019.

Toronto took two of three at home from the Giants in June 2023, surrendering just five runs.