Kikuchi will make a normal start Saturday against the Angels, but will have his first "short" start in one of the two starts after that, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports.
The Mariners announced before the start of the year that they were going to limit Kikuchi to one inning pitched in several starts this year to prevent against injury commonly found with Japanese pitchers adjusting to the more rigorous MLB schedule. The first one of those starts should occur sometime in the next two weeks either against the Rangers on April 26 or against the Cubs on May 1.
Kikuchi (0-1) allowed three runs on three walks and five hits in six innings while taking the loss against Cleveland on Monday. He struck out five batters and gave up a home run.
Kikuchi has struggled so far in his first MLB season but he had just three walks in 21.2 innings before Monday's outing. He allowed three hits and a walk in the first inning alone and eventually gave up a long ball to Jose Ramirez in the third. Still looking for his first win, he'll see the Angels on Saturday.
Kikuchi (calf) will make his next scheduled start Monday against the Indians.
Kikuchi was limited to 80 pitches in his last outing Wednesday against the Royals after succumbing to calf cramps, but the issue never seriously threatened his availability for his fifth start of the season. The lefty isn't expected to face any limitations as he takes on an anemic Cleveland offense that ranks 28th in the majors this season with a 60 wRC+.
Kikuchi exited Wednesday's start against the Royals after six innings with left calf cramps, Ryan Divish of The Seattle Times reports. He did not factor in the decision and allowed three runs on five hits and one walk while recording three strikeouts.
Kikuchi's evening may have been done regardless after 80 pitches given it was his first time working on a five-day pitching schedule. The 27-year-old was in line for the victory when he left the game only to see the bullpen surrender the lead during the seventh inning. Kikuchi figures to be okay for Monday's scheduled start against the Indians.
Kikuchi surrendered six runs (four earned) on seven hits and a walk while striking out four over five innings Friday against the White Sox. He didn't factor into the decision.
Kikuchi didn't get off to a great start and allowed three first-inning runs on two hits and three errors. He gave up three more runs in the second before settling down to toss three straight scoreless frames. This was certainly Kikuchi's worst outing of the 2019 campaign, although he managed to get off the hook for the loss before the Mariners ultimately gave up the lead in the late innings. He'll search for a better outcome in his next start Wednesday against Kansas City.
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