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Hutchison has best start yet

The Sports Xchange

Drew Hutchison gave the Blue Jays what they needed Monday -- a seven-inning start.

The bullpen had been worn down by overuse because of short starts and two extra-inning games on a 1-5 trip to Tampa Bay and Texas. That meant that the Jays had to go a couple of times to their Class AAA team at Las Vegas to get fresh arms.

So when Hutchison pitched a career-high seven innings and had nine strikeouts, also a career best, it was everything the Blue Jays could have hoped for from a 21-year-old who has yet to pitch in Class AAA after making the jump from Class AA New Hampshire.

"Just an outstanding job by Hutchison tonight," manager John Farrell said. "A lot of strikes, threw three pitches for strikes. Tonight he probably the best fastball in terms of power that he showed throughout the course of the season. Coming off the stretch that we've come through, every additional inning by a starter just allows us or affords us the potential to rest another guy on a given night when we've been taxed in the bullpen."

Hutchison was coming off a four-inning loss at Tampa Bay on May 22 in which he allowed seven hits, including two homers, and six runs.

"I was just able to go out there and compete," Hutchison said. "I was pretty upset with the way I performed the last time out and was looking forward to this start tonight."

Hutchison said he found the release point that has eluded him all season.

"I was able to find my release point tonight for the first time this year, I think, and got in a rhythm," he said. "That definitely had a lot to do with it."

And as far as the velocity goes, he said, "I just kind of let it go. I'm not going to say I didn't worry about throwing strikes, but I just let it go."

Copyright (C) 2012 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.


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