Kikuchi sets the table, while Romano caps it off by recording the save in his season debut

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The tone was set early when Yusei Kikuchi retired the game’s first three batters by striking out the side.

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In Yankees lore, one of the most iconic eras played out in the late 1920s, a time when New York fielded some of the best teams baseball has ever seen.

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It would spawn the term Murders’ Row, a description of the Yankees’ first six in the lineup that featured the legendary Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig.

Anthony Volpe, Juan Soto and Aaron Judge have been known to wreak havoc on opposing pitchers, but each succumbed to Kikuchi’s mastery.

Additional victims would follow, but that opening salvo by Kikuchi provided the much-needed first punch.

He even had to overcome some apparent discomfort to his left side after delivering a pitch, but Kikuchi persevered to go six innings, an outing that included nine strikeouts while yielding four hits and one walk.

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A dubious ruling that smacked of homerism turned what should have been an unearned run into a run charged to Kikuchi on a routine grounder Bo Bichette misplayed that put a runner on base and would eventually come around to score the game’s first run in the second inning.

Five innings later, it was ruled a hit and not an error.

Kikuchi, simply put, was lights out as he continues to give the Jays a chance to win each time he’s on the mound.

When Jordan Romano was summoned from the bullpen to preserve the win for Kikuchi, the Rogers Centre and its closed roof turned into a light show.

Romano’s first pitch was a strike.

His second headed down the line in left field where Daulton Varsho made a great diving catch as the inning’s first out was recorded.

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A hit batter would bring the game’s tying run to the plate.

A double put runners at second and third.

One run would score as the Yankees stranded a runner at third base as Romano registered the save.

Fittingly, Kikuchi earned his first win of the season following Toronto’s 5-4 victory over the Yankees.

Toronto can complete its sweep of the Bronx Bombers on Wednesday afternoon.

After beginning the season with a troublesome 4-6 road swing, the Jays have used the comforts of home to bounce back, taking two of three versus Seattle and Colorado and assured of a series win over their AL East rivals.

A sweep would do wonders as the Blue Jays head off to San Diego to begin a seven-game trip Friday.

For now, all thoughts are on Wednesday’s potential sweep.

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The Jays parlayed a rare double steal into two runs during a fourth inning that would also feature an infield hit by Ernie Clement when the ball hit the second base bag.

With two outs, Varsho reached base on a walk to advance Clement to second.

The two would pull off the double steal.

A walk to George Springer then loaded the bases.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. then stepped up to the plate and sent a rocket up the middle to score Clement and Varsho.


Underrated may best describe Danny Jansen.

When he’s able to turn on a pitch, he has proven to be quite adept at going deep into left field.

Availability has been an issue because Jansen somehow ends up getting hurt when he fouls off a pitch and injures his front (left) hand in the box.

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He was able to make his season debut Tuesday in what turned out to be a rocky start for the catcher known as Janno.

In New York’s top half of the second, Davis Schneider made a decent throw from left field to the plate.

With Giancarlo Stanton running from second base, the throw arrived well in time for what should have been an easy out to end the inning.

Stanton, who is known for his prodigious bat, isn’t exactly an accomplished runner.

In fact, it would be interesting to see whether he can outrun Daniel Vogelbach or even Alejandro Kirk.

Either way, Jansen was unable to secure Schneider’s throw, allowing Stanton to cross home plate as the Yankees scored the game’s first run.

Later, Schneider made a great running catch just inside the foul territory to prevent a run.

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In the home half of the second inning, Jansen led off the frame.

When his name was introduced, fans gave Jansen a warm welcome, but it wasn’t the kind of resounding reception he deserved.

As it was, Jansen struck out looking in his first plate appearance.

When he returned to the Jays following a rehab stint in the minors, Jansen sported a custom hand/wrist protector on both hands.

Clearly, he deserves a break and not the kind that lands him on the injured list.

Jansen led off the fourth inning.

Fans reacted with excitement when he turned on a pitch, but Jansen didn’t get full barrel on the ball and ended up recording the out.

In the fifth, Jansen was part of an inning-ending strikeout/throw out sequence when he struck out swinging on a full court and then watched Justin Turner get thrown out at second in a failed attempt to steal the bag after Turner reached base on a hard-hit single.

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Chalk it up to the vagaries of baseball when trying to digest the news that Nate Pearson was sent down to Triple-A Buffalo.

He has options, which means Pearson, despite his impressive start to the season, became the obvious victim when bullpen arms Romano (right elbow inflammation) and Erik Swanson right forearm inflammation) were each activated in advance of Tuesday’s game.

In terms of performance, Pearson was deserving of staying with the big-league club.

In the end, he became a victim because Pearson has options.

He will be back because his pitching merits a recall having allowed zero earned runs, while striking out nine in 6.1 innings.

With Bowden Francis cast in the role of providing length for the Jays, it didn’t seem practical to send Francis to the minors.

Mitch White was DFAed.

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