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Hutchison a can't-miss in first spring start

Special to MLB.com

BRADENTON, Fla. -- There is a new leader in the clubhouse.

Drew Hutchison was the first Pittsburgh starter to go four innings this spring, and he did it with good results.

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BRADENTON, Fla. -- There is a new leader in the clubhouse.

Drew Hutchison was the first Pittsburgh starter to go four innings this spring, and he did it with good results.

View Full Game Coverage

"It was a good day; productive," he said. "I was able to really get my fastball going, get into a good rhythm, especially the last innings. I felt good repeating the delivery and made quality pitches."

All of this in his first start of the spring, during which Hutchison was able to go deep because he kept his assigned pitch count down. He allowed just one run, a solo homer from Tim Beckham, in the Bucs' 4-1 win against Tampa Bay. He scattered three hits, struck out five and walked two.

"Felt good, first time I've started," Hutchison said. "Felt good to go through my normal routine and get all that going again. Felt like I did a good job of making quality pitches today."

Video: Berry on Hutchison, Nova additions to Pirates staff

"I saw Drew hit spots, I saw him attack the zone," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "He used his fastball down and he used it up with intent when he wanted to. That's the guy that we've seen have some success."

Hutchison came over late last season from Toronto in the Francisco Liriano deal, and is feeling more comfortable in his new surroundings.

"Obviously any time you come to a new team, it's a little bit different," Hutchison said. "There's an adjustment period. I feel like being here at the end of last year has really helped me coming into Spring Training. Just the familiarity, the coaching staff, the guys around you, that's definitely helped me."

"We've tried to encourage him since he's been here that we got him for a reason," Hurdle said. "We believe that he can be a contributor to the staff, so the opportunity is there."

Red-hot Jose
No doubt the hottest bat in the Pirates' lineup this spring belongs to outfielder Jose Osuna, who has reached base safely in all 10 of his Grapefruit League games.

Video: TB@PIT: Osuna on trying to make Opening Day lineup

"I'm doing good, I feel great at home plate," said Osuna, who added his goal is trying to hit the ball all over the park this season. "I'm having good at-bats, and having good results."

"He's swinging the bat very well right now, he's squaring balls up," Hurdle said. "He's hitting breaking balls, he's hitting fastballs, he's hitting soft, so it's encouraging to see."

Squaring up
Along with pitching four solid innings, Hutchison laid down a nice bunt to advance Eury Perez in the fourth inning. His manager wasn't surprised.

"Our guys work very hard at this," Hurdle said. "When they're not pitching, they're actually set up with execution games in the back. It doesn't surprise us when they get it done, they take a lot of pride in it. We actually keep scores and have some healthy competition."

Quote of the day
"He does a really good impersonation of the manager of the Pirates, which has gotten a lot of play in the clubhouse. I like it, it's good, he does a pretty good me." -- Hurdle, on Edwin Espinal, who hit a walk-off homer Friday

Mike Nabors is a contributor to MLB.com based in St. Petersburg.

Pittsburgh Pirates