Quiet night for O's lets Blue Jays gain in AL East
Solo shot by Davis is only Baltimore hit in loss to Hutchison
TORONTO -- Offensively, the Orioles can be as potent as any team in the Major Leagues, but when they face Blue Jays starter Drew Hutchison, it's like running into a brick wall.
A night after they put up nine runs and three homers, the righty shut down the Orioles' offense and turned in a dominant one-hit, 8 2/3-innings performance in a 5-1 victory. Hutchison improved to 2-0 on the season and 3-0 in six career starts against Baltimore.
The 23-year-old was an out shy of a complete game and retired 22 straight batters as he clipped the Orioles' wings on Wednesday night at Rogers Centre.
"You gotta give it to him, he probably should've had a complete game," said Orioles slugger Chris Davis, whose solo shot in the second inning was the only blemish on Hutchison's line. "We just couldn't square anything up. A lot of popups and grounders. He was mixing all his pitches, throwing a lot of strikes and keeping us off balance."
Over four starts and 27 2/3 innings against Baltimore in 2014, Hutchison has allowed only three earned runs and four walks while striking out 25.
O's manager Buck Showalter said Hutchison's fastball command was sharp.
"He's a very good pitcher," Showalter said. "He's one of five on 30 Major League teams. These are the best pitchers in the world. He's obviously capable of that. I'm sure we'll see him a couple of more times."
Baltimore starter Wei-Yin Chen, meanwhile, saw his five-game win streak come to an end. Chen was tagged for four runs in the first two innings, and by the end of the fourth he had already thrown 93 pitches as the Orioles had their three-game win streak snapped in the second game of a three-game series in Toronto. Chen went five innings and allowed four runs on eight hits with two walks as he was handed his first loss since June 28.
The 29-year-old southpaw saw his pitch count climb early in the contest, and twice he wasn't able to put away the Blue Jays with two outs, both times resulting in runs scored.
The Blue Jays jumped on Chen with small ball early, notching four singles and two runs in the first frame for a 2-0 lead.
After facing eight batters in the first, Chen appeared to settle in with back-to-back strikeouts to lead off the second, but that success was only momentary as he gave up a two-out double to Melky Cabrera before Jose Bautista went deep to the second deck in left field for a 4-1 Toronto lead.
"I could've pitched better and got out of those innings," Chen said through an interpreter. "Instead of letting them score those runs. Hopefully in similar situations I would do better in the future."
The Blue Jays continued to wear on Chen, with Jose Reyes working a 12-pitch at-bat in the fourth followed by an eight-pitch at-bat by Nolan Reimold later that inning.
"Tonight after two strikes, sometimes I couldn't pinpoint my fastball," Chen said. "That's why they could keep hitting foul balls, and that drove my pitch count up."
He was replaced by T.J. McFarland in the sixth, but the Blue Jays kept coming. Munenori Kawasaki singled and later scored on a double from Bautista as Toronto extended its lead to 5-1.
That was all the cushion Hutchison needed as he breezed through the rest of the game to improve to 8-9 on the season.
Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said the stellar outing from Hutchison was well timed considering the magnitude of the series between the American League East rivals. The two sides will play for the series victory on Thursday. The Orioles hold a four-game lead over the Blue Jays in the division.
"It's a good ballclub, we needed that," said Gibbons. "[Hutchison] was good. He has pitched good ballgames for us this year, but perfect timing for us tonight."