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.

Final. 6. 11. 7. 39

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.

Game Notes:

  •  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.


STARTING PITCHING . A+. For every rough start Drew Hutchison has, it is the masterful ones like the game we saw tonight that makes him so tantalizing to watch. He dominated the Orioles all night, keeping them off balance and having his way on the mound. An excellent start for his to build off of.. Game Ball. Drew Hutchison

B+. Josh Donaldson once again gets the job done, another example of how important he is, especially with <strong><a href=. Game Ball. Josh Donaldson. HITTING

F. Handed a 7-2 lead to protect in the ninth, Gibby called on Liam Hendriks to close it out and save the rest of the bullpen. However, Hendriks surrendered three hits sandwiched around a Chris Davis strike-out, forcing Miguel Castro into the game. Castro immediately surrendered a 3-run home run before slamming the door for the 7-6 win. This showed a perfect example of how hittable Hendriks is, and perhaps that he is seeing too much work in the early going.. . . BULLPEN

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