Hutchison sharp as Blue Jays beat Orioles 5-1
(AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Fred Thornhill)
By IAN HARRISON
TORONTO (AP) Drew Hutchison gave the slumping Blue Jays a timely gem.
Hutchison came within one out of his second career complete game, Jose Bautista homered and drove in three runs and Toronto beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-1 on Wednesday night, snapping a four-game losing streak.
"Perfect timing, we were struggling a little bit," manager John Gibbons said. "We needed that."
Melky Cabrera had three hits as the Blue Jays closed within four games of the AL East-leading Orioles and handed Baltimore its first loss in four games.
Hutchison (8-9) struck out eight and allowed just one hit, a solo homer by Chris Davis in the second, to win for the second time in three starts. Hutchison responded to the homer by setting down 22 straight batters but was replaced after Nick Markakis walked in the ninth.
"After he gave up the home run he really buckled down," Davis said. "We just couldn't square anything up."
Hutchison is 3-0 with a 1.13 ERA in six career starts against Baltimore.
"Me and (catcher Dioner) Navarro were on the same page pretty much every pitch tonight," Hutchison said.
Davis, who also homered in Baltimore's 9-3 win on Tuesday, went deep in back-to-back games for the first time since Aug. 12 and 13, 2013.
All five Toronto runs came with two outs, and the Blue Jays collected nine two-out hits.
Wei-Yin Chen (12-4) had won his past five starts but couldn't extend that career-best streak, allowing four runs and eight hits in five innings. He walked two and struck out six.
"We didn't give him much margin for error," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.
Blue Jays: Third baseman Brett Lawrie, who left Tuesday's game with a sore back, was held out of the lineup. Gibbons said Lawrie's MRI results have been sent to team doctors in Florida for review. First baseman Adam Lind (right foot) will begin a rehab assignment with Toronto's Gulf Coast League team on Thursday and could rejoin the Blue Jays this weekend, Gibbons said.
Orioles: Right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez (right ankle) felt fine after throwing a 35-pitch bullpen session before the game, but Showalter wouldn't divulge when Jimenez might return to the mound. Showalter did confirm, however, that right-hander Chris Tillman will start Friday's home game against St. Louis.
Baltimore right-hander Miguel Gonzalez will try to bounce back after losing for the first time in four starts, allowing four runs in five innings against Seattle last Saturday. Blue Jays left-hander J.A. Happ will make his second start against the Orioles this season. He won in Baltimore on June 15, allowing one run over six innings.
Davis has 24 career home runs against the Blue Jays, his highest total against any opponent. The Orioles slugger entered Wednesday's game with a career .668 slugging percentage against Toronto, the highest of any Blue Jays opponent (minimum 200 plate appearances). Baltimore teammate Nelson Cruz is second at .610. Davis, who batted seventh on Tuesday, moved back to the fifth slot Wednesday.
Cruz went 0 for 3 with a strikeout and has just two hits in his past 38 at-bats. Cruz came in with a .438 average in four previous games at Toronto this season, where three of his seven hits have been home runs.
Toronto won for the sixth time in eight games at home and improved to 31-24 at Rogers Centre this season. The Blue Jays lead the AL in home runs (75) and extra-base hits (186) at home this season.
Toronto promoted pitching prospect Daniel Norris to Triple-A Buffalo. Norris is 9-1 with a 2.38 ERA in 21 games at Class-A and Double-A this season.
Updated August 6, 2014