Hutchison silenced the Rangers, throwing a complete-game shutout
as the Blue Jays edged Texas 2-0 Friday night at Globe Life Park.
Darvish struck out 11 in eight innings and did not allow a hit until
the fifth, but it was not enough on a quiet night for the Texas
Toronto broke through for a pair of runs in the top of the eighth
inning after catcher Erik Kratz and center fielder Anthony Gose each
reached base on bunt singles to start the inning. Blue Jays
shortstop Jose Reyes hit a line drive to deep right field, but
Rangers right fielder Alex Rios tracked it down for the first out of
Kratz moved to third on the fly out, and then he and Gose scored
when left fielder Melky Cabrera doubled down the right-field line.
That was all the help Hutchison (2-3) needed as he struck out six,
walked one and gave up three hits for his first career complete-game
shutout. Hutchison had not won a game since his first start of the
season on April 1 vs. Tampa Bay, a streak he was relieved to leave
"It's obviously something I was happy to do," Hutchison said. "Now
I'm looking forward to getting the ball in five days. Thinking about
the last seven starts doesn't do any good for what's going forward.
Just like this is over now. You enjoy it today and you move
Hutchison said he was determined not to focus on dueling with
Darvish, even though both pitchers had excellent command through the
early and middle innings. By the time Toronto edged ahead, Hutchison
had a significant advantage in pitch-count and was moving along more
efficiently than the strike-out tossing Darvish.
"You can only control what you're doing against their hitters,"
Hutchison said. "Once the ball leaves your hand, there's nothing
else you can do. (Darvish is) usually going to be very stingy. For
my game plan, it's just go out there and worry about what I'm doing
and pound the zone."
Darvish (3-2) had not allowed a run in 15 2/3 innings before Toronto
scored in the eighth.
A week after he took a perfect game into the sixth inning, Darvish
did not give up a hit through the first four frames against Toronto.
However, Blue Jays designated hitter Adam Lind poked a single
through the right side of the infield for Toronto's first hit with
no outs in the fifth. Darvish retired the Blue Jays in order after
that and Lind did not reach second base.
Darvish struck out eight through the first five innings.
"(Darvish) was almost as good as our guy," Toronto manager John
Gibbons said. "You know you've got to match him on the mound.
Otherwise it's going to be a long, long night."
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In the early innings, Hutchison was just as effective against the
Rangers' lineup as Darvish was against Toronto. Hutchison gave up
two hits through five innings and needed only 55 pitches to that
point. Rangers center fielder Leonys Martin appeared to be the first
Texas player to reach second after he singled to lead off the third
and then was called safe stealing second. But a review of the play
overturned the call, wiping out Martin's steal and keeping the bases
clean for Hutchison.
"I thought he got him," Gibbons said. "Otherwise the guy is sitting
there on second with no outs and you never know what happens.
They're about to turn over the top of their lineup. That was a big
call for us."
The Rangers lost their third straight and have scored only four runs
in the last three games, all of them coming in a 5-4 loss to the
Houston Astros. But Rangers manager Ron Washington emphasized that
he's not getting anxious.
"I have quality guys out there," Washington said. "It's just a
matter of them getting their at-bats until things fall in place. It
was obvious tonight that Hutchison threw a good game against us and
we couldn't get anything sustained offensively.
NOTES: After Toronto first baseman Edwin Encarnacion's two home runs
against Cleveland in the Blue Jays' 4-2 series finale victory
Thursday, the Blue Jays led the American League in home runs with
56. ... The Blue Jays and Rangers met for the first time this season
after Toronto dominated the Rangers in 2013, compiling a 6-1 record
against the Rangers, including winning all four games in Texas. ...
The Rangers started the day in fourth place in the AL West, which is
their lowest position in the division after the start of May since
the 2008 season. ... Texas entered the game having lost two of three
at Houston, the first time the Rangers dropped a series against
Houston since 2008, a span that covered 15 straight Texas series
wins over the Astros.
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