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Kikuchi strikes out six, Mariners drop Rays 5-1

M's back to .500 at 36-36
Credit: AP
Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Yusei Kikuchi stays loose by going through pitching motions in the dugout between the fourth and fifth innings of the team's baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays, Friday, June 18, 2021, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

SEATTLE (AP) — Yusei Kikuchi threw four-hit ball over seven innings, Seattle batted around during a four-run first inning and the Mariners beat the Tampa Bay Rays 5-1. 

Kikuchi earned his 10th quality start in 12 appearances while sending the Rays to their fourth straight loss, matching their season high. The Japanese left-hander struck out six and recorded 13 infield outs as he helped the Mariners to their fifth win in six games. 

He’s given up seven hits and one run with 12 strikeouts over 14 innings in his last two starts.