Blue Jays, Drew Hutchison finish sweep, squeak by Orioles
For being the favorite in the American League East entering the season, the Baltimore Orioles have certainly had their fair share of trouble with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2015. After taking 2 of 3 from Baltimore in earlier April, the Blue Jays kept the momentum going, finishing off a three game sweep on Thursday night with a 7-6 win.
Drew Hutchison was a model of consistency, pounding the strike zone all night long and keeping the pitch counts low. Taking a perfect game into the sixth inning, Hutch settled for allowing 2 runs on 4 hits while striking out 7 and walking 0 over 8 strong innings.
His counterpart wasn’t so lucky. Orioles starter Chris Tillman struggled with his control, walking 5 hitters. When he was in the zone, the Blue Jays made him pay, squaring the big starter up for 5 hits and 7 earned runs over 4.1 innings. 4 of the 5 hits went for extra bases.
Down 7-2 in the top of the 9th, the Orioles made a run to get back in the game, with Manny Machado greeting Miguel Castro with a 3-run home run after Liam Hendriks allowed three hits. 2 of the runs belonged to Hendriks. However, Castro recovered well to strike-out Ryan Lavarnway to end the game.
Offensively, the Blue Jays were paced by Josh Donaldson, who did his part with a two-run home run off of Tillman in the bottom of the third inning and added a double in the 4th. Kevin Pillar also pitched in a pair hits and two RBI, with Russell Martin and Danny Valencia each collecting a hit and an RBI as well.
The Blue Jays will look to take the momentum to Tampa Bay with them with a three game series starting against the Rays on Friday with R.A. Dickey on the mound against Drew Smyly.
- What a difference a game makes for Blue Jays starters. After watching Aaron Sanchez walk 7 in the win on Wednesday, Drew Hutchison walked zero. While he threw only 64 of his 100 pitches for strikes, he never threw more than 15 pitches in a single inning.
- Hutch’s perfect game attempt was broken up with a lead-off home run from Manny Machado in the top of the 6th inning. Machado went up there looking for the first pitch fastball and got the pitch he was looking for.
- A great game for Josh Donaldson. In addition to the 2-run home run, Donaldson made a great play at third base on a bare hand grab in the top of the first inning.
- Donaldson’s home run was measured at 481 feet by MLB Advanced Media. That makes it the longest home run in Major League Baseball in 2015.
- Interesting play in the bottom of the third inning. Devon Travis his a fielder’s choice to Chris Davis, who opted to throw home and try to get Danny Valencia at the plate. The throw got away from catcher Ryan Lavarnway though, prompting Kevin Pillar to round third and also try to score. However, the ball hit the home plate umpire and didn’t get as far away as it should have and Pillar was nabbed at the plate.
- The second home run to Machado was a bad mistake pitch from Castro. Once again looking for the fastball, Martin called for it away but Castro left it out over the middle of the plate and Machado doesn’t miss those pitches.
- The sweep allows the Blue Jays to salvage the home stand, going 5-5 on the 10-game swing before hitting the road for 10 on Friday.
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