Hutchison enjoyed another quality start as he tossed seven stellar innings, while Jose Bautista homered for a fourth consecutive game in the Blue Jays' 2-0 victory over the Yankees on Saturday afternoon at Rogers Centre. Led by Hutchison, Toronto pitching held New York to one hit on the day, with Aaron Sanchez retiring all six batters he faced from the start of the eighth inning.
"We've seen him good a number of times," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "It's almost like he caught a second wind since that game in Chicago. He gave up six in the first and then finished seven strong. There was that last outing here and that one today. We've seen him very good a lot of times, but it's tough to get any better than he was today."
Hutchison's workload and health had to be closely monitored this year after he missed all of last season while recovering from Tommy John surgery. It was impossible to predict how Hutchison would perform as his innings total reached a new high, but instead of tailing off, he appears to be getting stronger.
The native of Lakeland, Fla., has allowed one run over his past 19 innings, dating back to the second inning of an outing in Chicago on Aug. 17. He has tossed back-to-back quality starts for the first time this season, and he arguably looked as good on Saturday afternoon as he has all year.
The only hint of trouble for Hutchison came in the fourth inning, when he allowed a double to Mark Teixeira and hit a pair of batters. Hutchison was able to escape that jam by getting a weak two-out fly ball off the bat of left fielder Martin Prado, and he continued on through the seventh.
"I feel really good; I probably feel the best I have all year," Hutchison said. "I've been able to get into a good rhythm within my delivery, stay within my delivery, and I think that's shown.
"Obviously, every time I go out there, I expect to go deep into the game and be successful. I thought I showed that today. I was able to have good command. My fastball was really good, and everything comes off the fastball for me."
Sanchez, a rookie right-hander, earned the first save of his career in relief of Hutchison, helping the Blue Jays win for the second time in their past three games.
Bautista provided the Blue Jays with all the offense they would need in the first inning. With two outs and a runner on, Bautista sent an 0-2 offering from right-hander Michael Pineda over the wall in left for his 28th home run of the season. Toronto's veteran slugger continues to be red hot at the plate following an 0-for-17 skid.
Pineda didn't allow another run, working six strong innings but taking the loss nonetheless. Despite the win, Toronto's offensive woes continued, as the club has scored three runs or fewer in 15 of its 25 games this month, the main reason behind the Blue Jays' subpar 8-17 record in August.
"He's a pretty good hitter," Pineda said of Bautista. "I tried to make a good pitch to him, a good slider down in the dirt. Instead, it was right in the middle."
The Blue Jays will wrap up their series against New York on Sunday afternoon. Toronto will then enjoy an off-day before heading out on a six-game road trip against Tampa Bay and Boston.