The Toronto Blue Jays have gotten Drew Hutchison off the hook for a poor outing plenty of times this season, and that's especially been the case when he's faced the Boston Red Sox.
The right-hander looks to take most of the pressure off his offense this time around as the first-place Blue Jays try to win two of three at Fenway Park on Wednesday night.
Hutchison (13-3, 5.07 ERA) has an 8.14 run-support average that is nearly a full run higher than any other pitcher in baseball. Toronto (79-59) has won five times when he's allowed at least six runs, and if his ERA doesn't drop much more before the season ends, Hutchison would become the first pitcher since James Shields in 2010 to win at least 13 games with an ERA above 5.00.
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He had a 2.45 ERA while winning his previous four starts, though, before allowing six runs and nine hits - three homers - in five-plus innings of Friday's 10-2 loss to Baltimore. The two runs of support Hutchison received marked the fewest in nine starts since July 3 when he didn't get any for the only time in his 26 outings.
Toronto has won each Hutchison's three starts against Boston this season despite his 11.91 ERA. Mookie Betts and Pablo Sandoval each are 5 for 7 with a homer and two doubles off him in 2015, while David Ortiz (4 for 7) and Xander Bogaerts (3 of 6) also have had success in their matchups.
The Blue Jays didn't get much going until the 10th on Tuesday, when Josh Donaldson led off with a triple and Troy Tulowitzki drove in the go-ahead run in a four-run inning to give them a 5-1 win over the Red Sox (65-73).
Toronto, 29-8 since July 29, moved 1 1/2 games ahead of New York atop the AL East after the Yankees fell 2-1 to the Orioles.
''We tried to just navigate through their lineup the best that we could, give ourselves the best opportunity to get through that inning,'' Boston's interim manager Torey Lovullo said of the 10th. ''Obviously one of the best players in the American League comes up with a leadoff triple, you're just trying to preserve that run the best that you can.''
Boston had its four-game winning streak snapped despite Dustin Pedroia doubling in his first game since July 22 because of a hamstring injury. Betts is hitting .386 during a 14-game hitting streak after going 1 for 4.
The Red Sox now try to bounce back behind Joe Kelly (9-6, 4.84), who has won his last seven starts while posting a 2.72 ERA. He's allowed two or fewer runs in the past six after pitching six strong innings in Friday's 7-5 victory over Philadelphia.
''Something that I learned is that you can't just keep pounding fastballs, especially in this division with the hitters,'' Kelly said. ''Like I said, you've got to keep all the hitters off-speed throughout the entire game.''
The right-hander's three starts against the Blue Jays all came before he figured that out. Kelly went 0-1 with a 7.64 ERA in those outings while walking 12 in 17 2-3 innings.
Donaldson, hitting .421 with two homers, two triples and four doubles over his last 10, is 5 for 9 against Kelly this season.