Blue Jays Win Behind Solid Start from Drew Hutchison

The Toronto Blue Jays welcome back old friend Drew Hutchison on Sunday for a spot start against Oakland.

The Toronto Blue Jays welcomed back Drew Hutchison to the clubhouse today. The Lakeland, Florida native made his way up from Buffalo to get in a spot start, and hopefully help secure a series win against the Oakland Athletics. During his time as a Bison in 2016, Hutchison was (0-1, 4.11 ERA, 1.109 WHIP, 11.7 K/9) very solid over three starts, and will be an important part of Toronto’s 2016 season.

Hutchison gave the Blue Jays exactly what they needed – though it wasn’t overly efficient – in this game. His final line (5 2/3, 4H, 2R, 2ER) on ninety-five pitches, included two solo home runs from – Khris Davis in the second inning, Josh Reddick in fourth – with three walks.  He left the game with a chance to grab the win, which was equally important for his confidence, after being replaced by reliever Jesse Chavez.

Chavez allowed a solo home run to Chris Coghlan in the seventh before being replaced by lefty Brett Cecil with one out, who closed out the inning without much issue.

Relievers Drew Storen worked a clean eighth inning for the hold, and Roberto Osuna retired all three batter he faced in the ninth for his sixth save of the season.

The Blue Jays offense looked to pick up Sunday against Eric Surkamp, where they left off against Chris Bassitt yesterday. Saturday’s star Ezequiel Carrera picked up another hit to leadoff the game – making him five for his last six – followed by a Jose Bautista walk two batters later, but a Edwin Encarnacion flyout and Troy Tulowitzki strikeout snuffed the rally quickly.

The second time through the order, however, proved more fruitful. Carrera’s bat stayed hot with a leadoff home run to start the third inning. Followed by a Josh Donaldson double into the left-field corner.  Surkamp was able to get the next two outs, then surrendered a base on balls to Tulowitzki, and three consecutive run scoring singles to Justin Smoak, Kevin Pillar, and Darwin Barney to stretch the lead to three runs at the end of three innings.

Blue Jays kept the pressure on Surkamp in the fourth, starting with a Donaldson walk and quickly followed by a Jose Bautista two-run home run that stretched Toronto’s lead to 6-1. The pressure continued in the fifth when Pillar laced a double down the left-field line, then stole third. Surkamp (4.2 IP, 9H, 6ER, 4BB, 3K) was pulled at this point in favour of loogy Marc Rzepczynski with two-outs, who escaped the inning without further damage.

Oakland relievers Rzepczynski, Ryan Dull and Fernando Rodriguez combined for three and a third (3.1) innings of shutout baseball, helping to keep the Blue Jays off the board through the eighth inning.


Play of the Game:

Today’s play of the game goes to Zeke. His lead off home run to start the third not only tied the ballgame at one apiece, it opened the floodgates for four runs in the inning.

Game Ball:

Today’s game ball goes to Drew Hutchison. His solid spot start today gave a welcomed break to the starting pitching staff, allowing them an extra day’s rest before them welcome the streaking Chicago White Sox to town on Monday.

Turning Point:

Although the Athletics scored only three runs in this game this Jose Bautista home run helped give the pitching staff a 6-1 lead in the fifth. It allowed the bullpen some breathing room, and kept them away from high leverage situations.

News & Notes:

Toronto’s reigning American League Most Valuable Player, Josh Donaldson, received his Silver Slugger & Player’s Choice Awards in a pre-game ceremony on Sunday.  To add to his day his mother was on hand to throw out the ceremonial first pitch to her son. It was a great moment for them to share on the field together. 

Next Game:

The Blue Jays will welcome the Chicago White Sox to Rogers Centre for a three game set starting Monday evening.




*Featured Image Credit: Tyrone Mitchell – UNDER CC BY-SA 2.0


W Black

Wade is a long time baseball fan who has been involved with the game for over 30 years. Including as a former college player, amateur pitching coach, and blogger.