Drew Hutchison exits Blue Jays pre-season game after freak play

Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Drew Hutchison left Sunday's spring training game against Tampa Bay in the fifth inning after he was hit in the back of the head by catcher A.J. Jimenez's throw to second base on an attempted stolen base.

Pitcher hit in head by throw from catcher Jimenez

Toronto's Drew Hutchison was forced to leave a spring training game on Sunday against Tampa Bay after catcher A.J. Jimenez struck the pitcher in the back of the head while attempting to toss out a runner at second base. 1:39

Drew Hutchison was more amused than frightened.

The Blue Jays pitcher escaped injury Sunday when he was struck in the back of the head by catcher A.J. Jimenez's throw to second base on an attempted stolen base during a 7-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.

The smiling right-hander high-fived Toronto teammates and remained on the bench for a while after being removed from the game in the fifth inning. He later described the scary moment as just "one of those things," adding he probably would have argued to continue pitching if it had been a regular-season game.

"I'm good. It's one of those weird things that happened. It's what you get for being dumb and walking the leadoff guy," Hutchison said. "I was throwing the ball well. Unfortunately something weird happened and I had to come out."

Hutchison walked Brad Miller leading off the fifth. With Steven Souza Jr. batting, Miller took off for second and Jimenez's throw struck the pitcher, who crouched low to the ground on his follow through. The ball caromed into left field, allowing Miller to continue to third base.

Trainers and manager John Gibbons spoke briefly with Hutchison before the pitcher walked off the mound to the dugout, where sat on the bench for remainder of the half-inning.

"You don't see it that often. I thought it got him in the leg, and it ended up getting him in the head," Gibbons said. "But he's all right. He's got a hard head. We've always known that."

Before leaving the dugout and walking up the right first line to the visiting clubhouse at Charlotte Sports Park, Hutchinson said a few words to Jimenez and patted the catcher on the back.

"We're good," Hutchison said of Jimenez. "Unfortunately, it's just a weird play ... that you've got to laugh at. I was perfectly fine."

Five different players drove in a run, while Hutchison allowed one run and one hit in four-plus innings for the Blue Jays, who scored three times in the eighth to pull away from a 3-3 tie.

David Carpenter pitched two scoreless innings for the Rays, leading a parade of candidates for the bullpen. Ryan Webb, Alex Colome, Danny Farquhar, Xavier Cedeno and Andrew Bellatti also pitched for Tampa Bay.

Toronto returns to Dunedin to host the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday at 1:07 p.m. ET.

With files from CBC Sports


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