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TOR@CLE: Hutchison fans nine, walks none over 5 1/3

Drew Hutchison and Bud Norris will be opposing starters for the second time this season when the Blue Jays host the Orioles at Rogers Centre on Thursday at 7:07 p.m. ET.

Both pitchers walked away with no decision in Baltimore's 2-1 extra-inning victory over Toronto April 12, despite having solid outings.

Norris threw 105 pitches, walking three and striking out four hitters over seven innings. He gave up five hits.

Hutchison was just as effective for Toronto, holding the Orioles to four hits over six innings with two walks and five strikeouts. Neither figured into the decision as they turned the game over to their bullpens.

Both clubs are hoping their starting rotations will start to throw deeper into games. Going into Wednesday's contest, the Blue Jays ranked 26th in the Major Leagues in innings pitched by a starting rotation. Toronto starters threw 109 2/3 innings through 20 games, while Baltimore starters ranked 28th with a combined 108 innings pitched in 19 games so far this season.

Hutchison (1-1, 3.60 ERA) has pitched two consecutive no-decision outings, his last coming April 18 at Cleveland. He struck out nine over 5 1/3 innings, allowing two earned runs on eight hits. He was rolling along in that contest until he allowed a two-run homer in the sixth inning. He was unable to pitch his way out of the inning and has yet to pitch into the seventh this year.

"My expectation every time I take the ball is to go deep into the game and give us the best chance to win," he said.

Norris, 0-2 with a 4.42 ERA through three starts this season, will go looking for his first win of 2014 as the Orioles wrap up their road series against the Blue Jays. He threw 6 1/3 innings in the Orioles' 4-2 loss to Boston on Saturday, striking out seven while walking two hitters. He allowed four runs on five hits. He'll look to build on that outing Thursday.

"I thought I threw the ball pretty well," he said of his loss to the Red Sox. "I gave my team the opportunity to go out there and beat [them]."

Orioles: Machado rehab rolling along
Manny Machado played seven innings Wednesday at third base in an extended spring game and went 3-for-4 with three singles.

Machado will travel back to the Baltimore area on Thursday before playing nine innings at third base for Class A Frederick on Friday. Machado is expected to stay with Frederick through the weekend and go to either Double-A or Triple-A after that.

Blue Jays: Encarnacion looks to break out
Edwin Encarnacion has gotten off to a slow start this season, but it's not exactly unfamiliar territory for a player who has been one of the most reliable hitters in the American League over the past two years.

Encarnacion began his 2013 campaign in a similar fashion. Through 20 games, he was hitting just .200 (15-for-75) with four extra-base hits. This year, he has a .228 average with seven extra-base hits.

The issue has been timing at the plate. Encarnacion admitted he has been starting his swing a little late but hoped that his three-run home run during Tuesday night's 9-3 win over Baltimore is a sign things have started to change.

"Sometimes, when it's early, you try to do too much and you just have to get your timing right," Encarnacion said. "I know it's going to be right, I just feel a lot better so I hope to continue to do the same approach I did [Tuesday]."

Worth noting
• Orioles pitcher Dylan Bundy threw eight curveballs Wednesday, the first time he's thrown that pitch since undergoing Tommy John surgery. It's an encouraging step for the righty, who could be an option for the Orioles in June.

• Both Matt Wieters and J.J. Hardy returned to the Orioles lineup Wednesday after sustaining minor injuries. Hardy said his hamstring has felt much better over the past few days, though he's still not 100 per cent. Wieters was also back after getting treatment Tuesday on an injured forearm.

• After doubling in the first inning of Wednesday's game, Melky Cabrera has now hit safely in all but one of his 21 games to start this season. Comments