Yusei Kikuchi is 0-3 in Seven Starts Since His Last Victory; Rangers Beat Blue Jays 10-0

Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP
Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Yusei Kikuchi works against the Texas Rangers during the first inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023, in Toronto.

TORONTO (AP) — Jordan Montgomery and two relievers combined on a five-hitter, Nathaniel Lowe and Mitch Garver each hit three-run home runs and the Texas Rangers beat the Toronto Blue Jays 10-0 on Wednesday night to move 1 1/2 games ahead of slumping Toronto in the AL wild-card race.

Robbie Grossman added a two-run homer as the Rangers (81-64) won their fifth straight. It’s the fourth time this season that Texas has won at least five in a row, matching Baltimore and Boston for most in the AL.

Lowe hit a three-run home run off left-hander Yusei Kikuchi (9-6) in the fourth. Grossman connected off Kikuchi in the fifth. Garver homered off Chad Green in the ninth. The Rangers are 69-41 when they hit at least one home run.

Grossman went 2 for 3 with two walks and scored twice.

Corey Seager reached base twice and scored a pair of runs and Lowe went 2 for 3 with a walk and scored twice.

Montgomery (9-11) allowed four hits in seven innings. Martín Pérez worked the eighth and Ian Kennedy finished.

Before the game, the Rangers learned that three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer will miss the rest of the regular season because of a strained muscle in his shoulder. General manager Chris Young said it was “probably unlikely” that Scherzer would return for the postseason if Texas advances.

The Blue Jays (80-66) lost their fourth straight and have dropped five of six meetings with Texas this season.

Toronto shortstop Bo Bichette went 0 for 4, extending his hitless streak to four games.

Seager walked to begin the fourth and Grossman followed with a single, the first Texas hit off Kikuchi. One out later, Jonah Heim hit an RBI single and Lowe followed with a three-run drive off the center field batter’s eye.

Seager hit a two-out single in the fifth and Grossman followed with his second homer run in two games.

Kikuchi allowed six runs and five hits in five innings. He gave up two home runs for the first time since June 4 against the Mets. Kikuchi is 0-3 in seven starts since his last victory, Aug. 2 against Baltimore.