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Toronto stretches K.C.’s losing streak to nine

April 22, 2012

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— Drew Hutchison had a lot of help from his offense to win his major-league debut.

Colby Rasmus hit two home runs to back Hutchison and the Toronto Blue Jays handed the Kansas City Royals their ninth straight loss, 9-5 Saturday night.

Edwin Encarnacion also homered and drove in three runs for the Blue Jays, who stroked a season high 14 hits.

“The offense did a great job and made it a little easier on me,” Hutchison said. “I wouldn’t say easy, but anytime they are putting up that type of run support it gives you a chance to go out there and really compete.”

Hutchison (1-0), who had never pitched above Double-A before Saturday, left after 99 pitches and 5 1/3 innings, allowing five runs and eight hits, including two homers. Hutchison became the eighth youngest starting pitcher in Blue Jays history at 21 years, 243 days.

“It was good to get it out the way and it was a lot of fun,” Hutchison said. “I kind of took a look around. I really wasn’t that nervous. There was a little bit of a different feeling, but I enjoyed it.”

He became the first Blue Jays pitcher to win his debut since Ricky Romero on April 9, 2009. The Royals losing streak is their longest since losing 10 in a row July 10-24, 2009. They have lost a club record nine consecutive home games, dating to last season.

Rasmus hit a two-run homer off Everett Teaford (0-1) in the sixth to put the Blue Jays ahead to stay, 6-5. He and Encarnacion homered off rookie reliever Kelvin Herrera in the three-run seventh. It was Rasmus’ third career multihomer game.

“I thought Drew threw the ball as we anticipated,” Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. “He had the one four-run inning where he worked behind in the count. He got a key ground ball double play in the one inning to slow down another potential threat. I thought he kept his poise. He threw strikes with his fastball particularly. All and all I think an impressive first-time out.”

Left-hander Darren Oliver, who at 41 is nearly twice the age of Hutchison, entered in the sixth after Alcides Escobar’s single advanced Mike Moustakas to third. Oliver struck out Mitch Maier and retired Yuniesky Betancourt on a fly to preserve the lead. Escobar had four hits, matching his career high.

“That’s just a great job by him to come in there and really defuse that situation,” Hutchison said.

By somebody old enough to be his father.

“I guess, but I won’t say that too loud,” Hutchison said. “His locker is right down there.”

Royals manager Ned Yost said Hutchison “did a good job.”

“He commanded the ball, worked both sides of the plate and kept it down,” Yost said. “We had opportunities to score, and did score. You want your bullpen to hold them and we just couldn’t do that.”

Royals starter Luis Mendoza faced 19 batters and 11 reached base — 10 hits and a walk — before being pulled with one out in the fourth. The Blue Jays batted around in a four-run fourth that Adam Lind started with a double.

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