Blue Jays welcome Orioles in battle of the birds

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Aug 16, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Drew Hutchison (36) delivers a pitch against the New York Yankees at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Game 1: Friday, September 4th  –  7:07 ET
Drew Hutchison (13-2, 4.87)  vs.  Ubaldo Jimenez (9-9, 4.34)

Hutchison is in a strange place at this point in the season. His numbers, the most deceiving digits you’ll see all season, are finally starting to return towards the norm after two strong starts. Over his past two outings, Hutch has tossed 13.2 innings while allowing just nine hits and one walk. He’s struck out 12 batters over that span.

The surprise return of Marcus Stroman could muddy the waters, though, especially if his start with AAA Buffao goes well and he is recalled in time for the New York series next week. There’s also the option of turning to a six man rotation or spelling off another starter, but Hutchison’s best course of action is to pitch well and force the organization’s hand.

Our old friend Ubaldo takes the mound for Baltimore, and it hasn’t been a smooth ride for him lately. Jimenez has allowed four earned runs or more in six of his last 10 starts, coughing up seven earned in three of those. Over his past two starts (11.1 IP), Jimenez has surrendered 11 earned runs on 18 hits. Walks have a been a real struggle for the right-hander, so a patient approach should benefit the Jays.

Next: Game 2: A weekend serving of the ace!