Hutchison sharp as Blue Jays win 4th straight
TORONTO -- Drew Hutchison delivered his fifth quality start and the Blue Jays' bats took care of the rest in a 7-2 win over the Astros at Rogers Centre on Saturday afternoon.
Hutchison was on his game from the get-go and went on to allow only one earned run over 6 1/3 innings while walking one and striking out five. His record improved to 5-1 on the season, helping the Blue Jays extend their winning streak to four games while creating the possibility of a series sweep on Sunday.
"That game didn't start out well, and it didn't finish well," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "We've put ourselves in a hole a couple of times in a row now, and these are tough holes to dig out of."
Brett Oberholtzer was saddled with the loss after lasting only 3 2/3 innings. The left-hander was unable to pitch beyond the fourth inning for the second time in his three starts, giving up four runs (two earned) while walking three.
After shooting out to an early 1-0 lead in the first, the Blue Jays capitalized on an Astros fielding error in the second to go up 4-0 before Chris Colabello doubled and scored in the fifth to make it a 5-1 game. Jonathan Villar homered in the eighth to narrow the deficit to 5-2, but that's as close as the Astros would come as the Blue Jays added a pair in the bottom of the inning to put the game out of reach.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Gonzalez gaffe at first costly: Marwin Gonzalez couldn't make the play on what should've been a Dioner Navarro groundout in the Blue Jays' three-run second inning. With a runner on first, shortstop Villar knocked down Navarro's shot up the middle and fired to first in time to get the Blue Jays catcher. But Gonzalez, playing first in place of Chris Carter for the 11th time in his career, couldn't find the bag with his foot and was charged with an error as Navarro reached base. The Blue Jays went on to score three runs -- two unearned -- against Oberholtzer in the inning. More >
Hutchison strikes out the side: After the Blue Jays were held scoreless in the third and the fourth, Hutchison came out and took care of the Astros in the top of fifth. On just 12 pitches, the Toronto right-hander struck out Jason Castro, Gonzalez and Villar. It was the middle of a stretch of eight straight hitters retired by Hutchison.
Villar goes deep: Villar homered for the first time this season in the eighth, taking a first-pitch fastball from Blue Jays reliever Steve Delabar to the second deck in right field to keep the Astros' hopes alive late.
Reyes swipes three: Toronto shortstop Jose Reyes stole three bases, giving him seven on the season. Reyes, who returned two weeks ago after missing 26 games with a rib injury, stole second and third base in the fourth inning after getting on base with a walk. In the eighth, after a single, he stole second.
"It keeps the pressure on the other team when there's that threat," Toronto manager John Gibbons said of the Blue Jays' five steals. "The pitcher can't just sit back and do his normal thing.
"Too many pitches in too little innings." - Hinch, on lifting his starter, Oberholtzer, in the fourth inning
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Josh Donaldson has reached base in 37 straight games against the Astros.
Reyes was picked off, but broke for second and managed to beat the throw in the bottom of the fourth inning. Oberholtzer had Reyes dead to rights but the Blue Jays shortstop slid in safe, and after a one-minute, 45-second review on a challenge issued by Hinch, the call on the field was confirmed.
Houston: Collin McHugh will take the mound for the series finale on Sunday at 12:07 p.m. CT. After registering a 5.05 ERA over six starts in the month of May, the right-hander earned a win his last time out against the Orioles and will continue to seek improvement in June. McHugh beat the Blue Jays the last time he faced them, going seven innings while allowing two runs with nine strikeouts.
Toronto: R.A. Dickey makes his 12th start of the season for the Blue Jays at 1:07 p.m. ET. The veteran right-hander lost his last outing, 2-0 in Washington on Tuesday. Dickey has given up 16 hits in 11 innings over his past two starts since his only complete game of the season on May 21, an 8-4 win at home against the Los Angeles Angels. The Astros pounded Dickey for 10 hits and seven runs over five innings in an 8-4 win on May 15.
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