Another night, another powerful pitching performance, another fun-filled day at the plate. Whatever the Blue Jays starters are drinking these days, it’s working. Thanks to a gem of an outing from Drew Hutchison, the Jays made it three in a row over the Cubs from Chicago. On Monday, Marcus Stroman tossed nine shutout innings while, on Tuesday, Mark Buehrle gave up all of two runs in his seven-inning outing. On Wednesday, it was Hutchison’s turn to get into the act, holding the Cubs to four hits and one run over 6.1 innings in the Jays’ 11-1 victory. Offence? The Jays had plenty. Over the three nights, they outscored the pathetic Cubs 28-3. There was much to like from the Jays perspective, beginning with the fact they have now won four in a row and nine of their past 11. The youthful Cubbies didn’t put up much of a fight until Jorge Soler connected for a solo homer with one out in the seventh. The homer snapped a streak of 67 consecutive innings by Jays starters without allowing a dinger. Most of the time, the Cubs waved at Hutchison’s fastball as the right-hander matched his career high in strikeouts with 10. Hutchison, 10-11 on the season, walked just one and now has chalked up 169.1 innings in his first full season back since undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2012. That’s a reason to cheer, right there. “He’s just gotten stronger,” manager John Gibbons said. “He was on that little stretch (in the last three weeks of July), where he looked like he was running out of gas. Then he just kicked it in the last three or four.” Is he surprised Hutchison has given the team as many innings as he has. “Yeah, probably a little bit. We really didn’t know how he was going to hold up,” Gibbons said. “We’ve been trying to protect him, keeping an eye on him all year, but since he’s getting stronger and stronger, we’ll ride him out and see what happens. “If we should fall out of this thing somehow and need to bang him a start at the end, we could do that. But right now, we’re playing good, we need him and we’ll just run the string as long as we can.” Once again, the Cubs bullpen imploded as the Jays put it away with five runs in the seventh with Edwin Encarnacion and Dioner Navarro each contributing two-run singles.
Jays trounce Cubs, win 4th straight and 9 of last 11
Toronto Sun | Sep 11