Yusei Kikuchi struck out four over six strong innings as he pitched the Toronto Blue Jays to a 5-3 win against the Kansas City Royals on Monday.

Kikuchi (2-1) won his second straight start after allowing two earned runs on five hits and no walks at Kauffman Stadium.

Yusei Kikuchi of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches in a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri, on April 22, 2024. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

The Japanese lefty was lights out through the first five innings and did not surrender a run until Maikel Garcia's two-run homer on a 2-2 pitch with one out in the bottom of the sixth.

Bo Bichette gave the Blue Jays a 3-0 lead in the third inning with his bases-clearing triple. The visitors then went up 5-0 on Daulton Varsho's two-run blast in the sixth.

Kikuchi said he achieved good results by making adjustments following early difficulty with his fastball. He allowed just one base runner on an efficient 48 pitches in the first five innings.

"My fastball rhythm wasn't good coming out of the bullpen, so I tried to pitch carefully and it turned out well," he said.

"I'm not thinking about my mechanics when I throw now. I'm able to focus on the batter's tactics or reactions while pitching."

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