After wild first, Hutchison sets down Tigers

After wild first, Hutchison sets down Tigers

LAKELAND, Fla. -- The Blue Jays' potent offense gave right-hander Drew Hutchison plenty of long breaks on Tuesday at Joker Marchant Stadium, but any pitcher will gladly trade time on the bench for runs.

Hutchison initially struggled after Toronto's three-run first inning, but he regrouped to retire the final 10 batters he faced in the Blue Jays' 16-1 win over the Tigers.

"Overall, I thought it was another good outing for him," manager John Gibbons said. "He's really been good this spring."

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Hutchison, vying with fellow righties Gavin Floyd and Aaron Sanchez for the final rotation spot, was wild in the first inning. He issued consecutive two-out walks before Detroit's Nick Castellanos produced an RBI ground-rule double.

But that was it for the Tigers.

"Obviously the two walks in the first were the only thing I wasn't pleased with, but I liked how I rebounded after that and attacked the zone," Hutchison said.

The Blue Jays matched their three-run first with another in the second before producing five runs in the fifth. That long layoff ended Hutchison's day earlier than expected. He threw 66 pitches, 41 for strikes.

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"Decided to just err on the side of caution and keep it where it was," Hutchison said.

Tuesday's outing produced just two more pitches than Hutchison threw the last time out, but he didn't think he'd have an issue getting his pitch count to 80 in his next two starts.

Hutchison's outing also marked a homecoming of sorts: The 25-year-old is a Lakeland, Fla., native.

"It was actually only the second time I've thrown here, which is a little weird," Hutchison said. "It was a lot of fun, and I'm glad I could pitch well."

Cash Kruth is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.