- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 1, 2015

FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) - Drew Hutchison wondered two years ago if he could pitch effectively again. No need to worry any more.

Hutchison tuned up for his opening-day start at Yankee Stadium next week by pitching three scoreless innings Wednesday in the Toronto Blue Jays’ 9-7 win over a Boston Red Sox split squad.

“My arm is good,” said Hutchison, who missed the 2013 season after a Tommy John operation. “I had the surgery just over two years ago. … Now I am healthy.”

Hutchison allowed three hits, struck out one and walked one, lowering his ERA to 1.50. He starts Monday against the Yankees, who open with Masahiro Tanaka.

Hutchison went 11-13 with a 4.48 ERA last year, striking out 184 in 184 2-3 innings.

“I’m ready to build on last season,” he said.

Edwin Encanarcion hit a long home run, Ryan Goins also homered and Josh Donaldson hit a two-run double in the first off knuckleballer Steve Wright.

“A regular knuckleball that didn’t drop,” Wright said of Encarnacion’s drive. “It drops a half inch and he probably hits a topper. It didn’t, and it went 500 feet.”

Allen Craig hit an inside-the-park homer, Jeff Bianchi had a three-run double and Matt Spring a two-run double.


Wright allowed four runs - three earned - four hits and four walks in 3 2-3 innings. Wright hopes to make the Red Sox roster as the fifth starter, a spot that opened because Joe Kelly has a biceps injury.

“I thought the ball was coming out of my hand pretty well,” Wright said. “After the first inning I settled down. My knuckleball was better. It was really moving. That’s a good problem to have.”

Wright said he is learning to change speeds off the knuckler.

“Reading swings, I add or subtract off the regular knuckleball,” he said. “Then you can pop a fastball here and there.”

the game against the Blue Jays and didn’t offer an opinion other than “The ball was coming out of his hand really well.”


Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez, who is on the 60-day disabled list, will have Tommy John surgery on Thursday on his injured right elbow. He met with Dr. James Andrews on Wednesday. … Kelly pitched four innings in a minor league game and is likely to start the season on the DL. He left a March 16 start with sore biceps and hasn’t pitched in a regular spring training game since.


Blue Jays: After an off day, Toronto plays Cincinnati in Montreal on Friday and Saturday. Left-handers Mark Buehrle and Daniel Norris are the scheduled starters for Toronto.

Red Sox: Boston plays its final three spring training games in Fort Myers against Minnesota. Rick Porcello, who will pitch the second game of the season in Philadelphia, will start Thursday’s game. Brian Johnson follows Friday.

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