Kikuchi allowed one earned run on six hits and two walks while striking out four across five innings Thursday against the Twins. He did not factor into the decision.

Kikuchi worked out of jams regularly as he allowed multiple baserunners in four of the five innings he pitched but managed to allow just one run to cross the plate. His best work came after he loaded the bases in the second frame, as he struck out two batters prior to forcing a groundout to escape the inning without surrendering a run. While the performance wasn't overwhelmingly strong, it was a big improvement from his past three outings, across which he allowed 16 earned runs in 10 innings. He'll look to maintain the improvement in his next start, currently scheduled for Tuesday against Kansas City.

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