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MLB: Mariners' Kikuchi yields 4 homers under fire in Houston

Yusei Kikuchi takes his eighth loss after yielding a career-high four home runs in the Seattle Mariners' 10-2 defeat to the Houston Astros. (Kyodo)

HOUSTON (Kyodo) -- Yusei Kikuchi continued to struggle in his major league rookie season, taking his eighth loss after yielding a career-high four home runs on Friday in the Seattle Mariners' 10-2 defeat to the Houston Astros.

Kikuchi (4-8) allowed six runs over four innings against the American League West leaders, surrendering long balls to Yordan Alvarez, Jake Marisnick, Martin Maldonado and Jose Altuve. The Japanese starter gave up nine hits and struck out just one of the 21 batters he faced.

After upping his total to 28, Kikuchi is now tied with Houston's Justin Verlander for most homers allowed this season.

"I think I tossed some good balls and was able to work the count, but I couldn't finish it off and that resulted in home runs. I feel like they connected well off where I was aiming," Kikuchi said.

The 28-year-old was followed by Seattle rookies Reggie McClain and Zac Grotz, who gave up a combined four runs in their major league debuts. Astros starter Wade Miley (10-4) held the visitors to two runs while striking out six and picked up his 10th win of the season.

Kikuchi has a 5.49 ERA over 23 starts in his first year in the majors after garnering acclaim during eight seasons with Japan's Seibu Lions.o

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