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Mookie Betts Guides Dodgers to 4-2 Victory Over Blue Jays; Toronto Suffers Fifth Consecutive Loss

Yusei Kikuchi’s Fastballs Peak Against Shohei Ohtani, but Dodgers Triumph Over Blue Jays 4-2

Yusei Kikuchi brought his A-game against superstar Shohei Ohtani, throwing his fastest pitches of the season during Ohtani’s at-bats. Despite this, the Los Angeles Dodgers secured a 4-2 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday. Kikuchi, facing his fellow Japanese player, admitted to feeling the adrenaline rush during their matchups.

“I threw my best fastball there this year,” Kikuchi remarked, referring to a 98.2 m.p.h. four-seam fastball that Ohtani hit for an RBI in the second inning. “But I think the exit velocity on his hit, it was pretty good as well, so he got the best of me there but I was glad to get him out after that.”

Kikuchi managed to strike out Ohtani in the fourth inning. Despite attending the same high school in Japan, albeit at different times, Ohtani finished the day with a relatively quiet 1-for-5 performance, a subdued outing for one of baseball’s top hitters.

In addition to the 98.2 m.p.h. four-seamer, Kikuchi hit 97.9 m.p.h. on the radar gun twice and 97.7 once, all against Ohtani. These were not only the hardest pitches of the game but also the fastest he has thrown all season.

“It was tough facing him, especially because there was a runner on every time when I faced him, so it made it that much more difficult,” Kikuchi stated through translator Yusuke Oshima. “He’s getting better and better every year, so the main focus in the matchups with him was just not to give up the big hit like a home run.”

Mookie Betts led the offensive charge for Los Angeles, going 3-for-5 with a triple and an RBI single. Chris Taylor and Ohtani also contributed with RBI singles in the second inning, while Freddie Freeman’s sacrifice fly scored Betts in the first.

Pitcher Tyler Glasnow (5-1) delivered a solid performance for the Dodgers, tallying nine strikeouts while allowing only one run on two hits and three walks over six innings. The bullpen trio of Joe Kelly, Ryan Brasier, and Evan Phillips preserved the win.

Despite a late surge from Toronto, highlighted by Davis Schneider’s RBI double in the seventh inning and Cavan Biggio’s RBI single in the ninth, the Blue Jays couldn’t overcome the Dodgers’ lead.

Shohei Ohtani, who recently signed a record-breaking $700 million deal with the Dodgers during the offseason, faced loud boos from the majority of the 39,405 fans at the Rogers Centre.

In the next game, Kevin Gausman (0-3) will take the mound for the Blue Jays in their series finale against the Dodgers.

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