Blue Jays kick off Grapefruit League schedule with 9-7 win over Pirates

BRADENTON, Fla. — Blue Jays starter Yusei Kikuchi threw two scoreless innings as Toronto kicked off its Grapefruit League schedule with a 9-7 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday afternoon.

Kikuchi, who struggled as a starter last season before moving to the bullpen, struck out five of the six batters he faced. The left-hander allowed one hit and threw 20 of his 33 pitches for strikes.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Santiago Espinal and Addison Barger homered for the Blue Jays.

Rodolfo Castro went deep for the Pirates.

Toronto outhit Pittsburgh 13-7.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 25, 2023.

The Canadian Press