Homers sink Hutchison, Blue Jays in loss

Homers sink Hutchison, Blue Jays in loss

Homers sink Hutchison, Blue Jays in loss
ATLANTA -- After suffering back-to-back walk-off losses, the Blue Jays once again found themselves in a close game Saturday against the Braves. And once again it ended with a Blue Jays loss, their third in a row.

The Braves got all the offense they needed on a pair of home runs, one by Dan Uggla in the third inning and one by Andrelton Simmons in the seventh. The Blue Jays countered with a Jose Bautista two-run home run in the sixth, but it wouldn't be enough as they lost, 5-2.

The Blue Jays have struggled offensively during their brief losing streak, scoring just eight runs. They have averaged 4.7 runs per game this season, but haven't been able to get that kind of production the last three games.

"With the exception of Jose's two-run homer, we're having a little bit of an issue here right now trying to bunch some hits together and really get anything generated offensively," manager John Farrell said.

None of the Blue Jays had more than one hit Saturday and their only multi-hit inning was the sixth.

Second baseman Kelly Johnson said the Blue Jays are still putting together good at-bats, they just aren't seeing the results right now.

"We obviously haven't hit our stride," Johnson said. "We're still being tough outs, hits will come. It's only a matter of time."

Braves right-hander Tommy Hanson did his part to keep the Blue Jays' offense locked down Saturday. He allowed just five hits in eight innings and kept batters guessing all day. Aside from Bautista's home run, only one runner reached second base and he was aided by a wild pitch.

"He throws strikes, mixing up speeds and never really giving you the same look all the time," Johnson said. "I think that's pretty much the name of the game today, we were off-balance a little bit."

Bautista's home run was one of the few times the Blue Jays were able to make solid contact against Hanson. Bautista hit a first-pitch fastball into the left-field seats for his 17th home run of the season, cutting the Braves lead to 3-2.

With right-hander Drew Hutchison pitching well after giving up Uggla's three-run home run, the Blue Jays seemed to have momentum back on their side. But the Braves got a diving catch by right fielder Jason Heyward to rob Mike McCoy of extra bases in the seventh inning and then scored a key pair of insurance runs in the bottom of the inning against Hutchison.

Farrell called Hutchison's start the most consistent of his last three or four, but he was undone by a pair of mistakes that Uggla and Simmons didn't miss.

Hutchison had retired 10 of the last 11 batters he faced when Simmons came to the plate to lead off the seventh inning. He threw a first-pitch slider to the rookie shortstop, but left it over the middle of the plate. Simmons launched the mistake for his first career home run.

"I was in a good rhythm," Hutchison said. "I made some bad pitches. Threw one right down the middle, hung a slider and lost the game."

The Braves chased Hutchison two batters later after a single by Jose Constanza and a sacrifice bunt by Hanson. Facing reliever Luis Perez, Michael Bourn slashed a double that landed just inside the left-field line and allowed Constanza to score the game's final run.

In all, Hutchison gave up five runs on seven hits in 6 1/3 innings. He struck out seven and walked one batter.

"I'm not satisfied with it," Hutchison said. "I put us in a hole early we had to come back from. We came back from it, I put us in a bigger hole and put it out of reach."

Johnson was more optimistic about Hutchison's start.

"Drew looked awesome," Johnson said. "If you look at the score, the amount of runs, I think he pitched better than that."

The Blue Jays also lost left fielder Rajai Davis in the fifth inning after a wild swing at a curveball. Davis jammed his left middle finger on a slide Wednesday and missed Thursday's game against the White Sox. Farrell said the treatment of the jammed finger has created a blister on Davis' index finger. "When he swung the bat, the bat came out of his hand and we had to get him out of the game," Farrell said.

McCoy replaced Davis in left field.

Teddy Cahill is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.