DETROIT -- One of the bigger storylines from the first half of last season was how much Drew Hutchison struggled when pitching at home. This year, it has been the exact opposite with almost all of his rough outings taking place away from Rogers Centre -- his latest an 8-6 loss to the Tigers at Comerica Park on Friday.
The Toronto righty's road woes continued with another disappointing start south of the border. He allowed five runs on 10 hits and two walks over 4 2/3 innings in the series opener in Detroit.
The 24-year-old Hutchison has a 9.00 ERA in nine starts on the road compared to a 2.12 ERA at home. The difference between those two figures is staggering, but Hutchison insists he believes there isn't a narrative to follow here, especially considering the way things went in 2014.
"I had a bad start, it's as simple as that, it just happened to be on the road," Hutchison said. "We've been through this many times, we talked about this, the complete opposite last year and it ended up being the complete opposite in the second half.
"I think it's more important to go out there and have a good outing, whether it be at home or on the road and not put us in a hole like I did tonight, regardless of where we are."
Hutchison looked relatively strong through three innings on Friday night. He allowed two hits and a run in the first inning and then had a pretty easy second and third. The problems began in the fourth, and while Ezequiel Carrera made things worse with a pair of throwing errors, Hutchison didn't do himself any favors by not backing up third on one of those plays.
Detroit had five of its first six batters reach base in the fourth and ended up putting five runs up on the scoreboard. In the fifth, Hutchison bounced back by retiring the first two batters he faced, but Victor Martinez and J.D. Martinez hit back-to-back doubles and Alex Avila walked to end the night for Toronto's Opening Day starter.
In nine road starts this season, Hutchison hasn't been able to complete the fifth inning five times. He's also tossed six or more innings just once since the end of May, but Hutchison insists that confidence -- or lack thereof -- is not an issue at the moment.
"No, I felt great," said Hutchison, who is 8-2 with a 5.23 ERA this year. "I felt good the first four innings. I felt like I made good pitches, even in the first when I gave up the run. I was able to get a big strikeout in the fourth and then some things just happened after that. There's no confidence issues, there's none of that, no outlying stories. I just need to be better and it's that simple."