Blue Jays' Montoyo won't 'make excuses' for struggling Kikuchi

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Toronto Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo isn't taking it easy on embattled starter Yusei Kikuchi after the left-hander lasted just two innings in a loss to the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday.

"I'm not going to sit here and make excuses for him. He hasn't pitched well. And he put us in a tough spot today again." Montoyo said postgame, according to Arden Zwelling of Sportsnet.

Kikuchi allowed five runs (two earned) in the 5-4 defeat.

The Japanese hurler, who signed a three-year, $36-million deal with Toronto in the offseason, hasn't logged six innings in a start since May 16. He now owns a 5.08 ERA and 1.59 WHIP with 35 walks and 66 strikeouts over 56 2/3 innings this season.

"Pitches when I try to get back into the count are the ones that are getting hit hard. Same thing today, unfortunately," Kikuchi said about his lack of command, according to Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun.

The 31-year-old added that his struggles aren't connected to poor health.

"My body feels fine. I feel really strong and healthy. It's something more mechanical I need to sharpen," the 2021 All-Star said.

The Blue Jays are 4-10 when Kikuchi starts and 36-21 when he doesn't.

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Blue Jays' Montoyo won't 'make excuses' for struggling Kikuchi
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