Seattle Mariners LHP Yusei Kikuchi exits start after ball hits right knee

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Seattle Mariners pitcher Yusei Kikuchi took a sharp ground ball off his right knee and left Saturday night’s 12-5 loss to the Los Angeles Angels in the fifth inning.

The left-hander fell to the ground after getting hit by a comebacker hit by David Fletcher.

Kikuchi was writhing in pain when catcher José Godoy tried to throw out Fletcher at first and threw into right field, allowing Taylor Ward to score from first.

Kikuchi left after receiving assistance from trainers and the Mariners coaching staff. The Mariners said the injury was a right knee contusion.

Kikuchi, who came into the game with a 3-3 record, was pitching well. He had eight strikeouts and allowed two runs, both on home runs, through the first four innings.

It would be another blow for the Mariners if Kikuchi had to go on the injured list. Already this week, right-hander Justin Dunn went on because of right shoulder inflammation and shortstop Kyle Lewis, last season’s American League Rookie of the Year, is expected to miss a significant amount of time because of a torn meniscus in his right knee.

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