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Hutchison shines in Double-A debut08/25/2011 12:04 AM ET
By Ashley Marshall / Special to MLB.com
Toronto pitching prospect Drew Hutchison has found success at every level since turning pro last year. On Wednesday, the Blue Jays wanted to see what he could do at Double-A, and he didn't disappoint.
The Blue Jays' No. 10 prospect allowed two hits and a pair of walks while striking out seven over five innings in the New Hampshire Fisher Cats' 16-3 rout of the Trenton Thunder.
"The guys put up a lot of offense, so I didn't have to do too much," the right-hander said. "When you score 16 runs, it makes everything a lot easier. ... I was just trying to pound the zone and pitch to contact. The game plan was to be aggressive, like always."
Promoted to the Eastern League on Saturday, Hutchison (1-0) ran into potential trouble on several occasions, but he found a way to keep the opposition off the board each time.
After a perfect first inning, the 21-year-old walked Robert Lyerly and hit Melky Mesa in the second. Both runners advanced on a passed ball, but Hutchison struck out Addison Maruszak to end the threat.
In the third frame, Hutchison was faced with a first-and-third jam, but he fanned Lyerly to end the inning. From there, the Florida native cruised the rest of the way, retiring seven of his final eight batters before turning over a 7-0 lead to the bullpen.
"Any time you can have a leadoff walk and not give up a run, it's real nice," Hutchison said. "A four-pitch leadoff walk isn't what you're trying to do. I wasn't jumpy in any way. I wasn't nervous. Then I had the leadoff double, but I made quality pitch after quality pitch."
New Hampshire represents Hutchison's third different club this year, but he doesn't mind the frequent change in scenery.
"It's not too tough," he explained. "All three teams that I have been able to play on have been winning teams and that is fun. I've just tried to play as well as I can and compete."
He went 6-2 with a 2.63 ERA over 14 starts with the Class A Lansing Lugnuts, and he was 5-3 with a 2.74 ERA in 11 appearances -- including 10 starts -- with the Class A Advanced Dunedin Blue Jays of the Florida State League.
In his rookie year in 2010, Hutchison was 2-3 with a combined 2.49 ERA in 15 outings between the short-season Auburn Doubledays and the Lugnuts.
On Wednesday, Danny Perales homered, doubled and plated three runs and Chase d'Arnaud added his 19th homer and two RBIs. Yan Gomes and John Tolisano each drove in three runs and scored twice in the victory.
Chase Whitley (3-4) took the loss for the Thunder, surrendering six runs -- three earned -- on three hits and two walks while striking out three over two innings of work.