Seattle's Kikuchi hurls complete-game shutout over Jays

Shut-out: Seattle pitcher Yusei Kikuchi of Japan celebrates his complete game shutout with catcher Tom Murphy against the Toronto Blue Jays (AFP Photo/MARK BLINCH)

Los Angeles (AFP) - Seattle's high-priced Japanese import Yusei Kikuchi fanned eight in a two-hit shutout Sunday, pitching his first complete game in Major League Baseball in the Mariners' 7-0 win over the Toronto Blue Jays.

Kikuchi, who signed a four-year deal worth $56 million with the Mariners in January, had been 1-7 with a 7.50 earned run average in his prior 14 starts.

But the former Seibu Lions star gave the Mariners what they were hoping for when they brought him in, notching his first win since the Mariners beat Baltimore on June 23.

The 28-year-old left-hander walked one and retired the last 14 batters he faced, and appeared to be over the struggles with his mechanics that had dogged him in recent weeks.

His efforts -- along with home runs for the Mariners from Kyle Seager, Austin Nola, Tom Murphy and Keon Broxton -- saw Seattle improve to 4-2 on their current road trip, which will continue in Tampa Bay.