TORONTO -- Drew Hutchison has pitched well at home for most of the season, and he typically dominates the Orioles' lineup, but on Friday night at Rogers Centre both of those factors ended up working against him.
Hutchison was strong through the middle innings but saw his outing fall apart in a four-run sixth that not only sent the Blue Jays to a lopsided 10-2 loss but also likely puts his future in the rotation into doubt.
The 25-year-old Hutchison allowed six runs on nine hits over five-plus innings -- right as right-hander Marcus Stroman is set to return from the 60-day disabled list next week.
"He was throwing fine, and then bam, it happened fast," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "Five, six pitches they did all of their damage, and then we gave it up late, too. He was throwing fine, it's a team he has been tough on and it happened fast."
The Blue Jays have yet to publicly announce what their plans are for Stroman. There's a possibility that he could end up in the bullpen, but if everything goes well during Monday's rehab start for Triple-A Buffalo, the expectation seems to be that he'll return as a starter.
Toronto has four starters locked into secure jobs with David Price, R.A. Dickey, Mark Buehrle and Marco Estrada leading the way. The only possible opening belongs to Hutchison, who was optioned to the Minors earlier this month when the club temporarily moved to a four-man rotation.
In order to combat some of the concerns, Hutchison needed a strong outing against the Orioles, but it didn't happen. He entered the game with a 2.46 ERA at home in 2015 and a career 3.13 ERA against Baltimore, so the factors appeared to be on his side, but in the end it didn't work out.
There was a second-inning homer by Chris Davis, which was eventually followed by an RBI double by Ryan Flaherty. Hutchison then cruised through the third, fourth and fifth innings before the Orioles exploded with five consecutive hits in the sixth. There was another homer by Davis and a solo shot by Matt Wieters that put the game out of reach.
"I just think I made bad pitches," said Hutchison, who is now 13-3 with a 5.07 ERA on the year. "I made my pitch to [Adam] Jones, and he took it the other way. The next one I just made a bad pitch to Davis, and the same with Wieters. After that, I missed some locations. I was not executing the pitches like I did the first five innings."