KANSAS CITY -- Before Saturday's game, Blue Jays manager John Farrell said that Drew Hutchison would have some butterflies when he took ball for his first Major League start.
Farrell just wanted to make sure those butterflies were flying in formation.
They must have been flying pretty straight, as Hutchison picked up the win in the Blue Jays' 9-5 victory over the Royals at Kauffman Stadium. Hutchison allowed five runs in 5 1/3 innings, becoming the first Toronto pitcher to win his big league debut since Ricky Romero in 2009.
Hutchison was hardly untouchable, as the Royals scored more than three runs for the first time in almost a week, but thankfully for him, the butterflies weren't the only things flying in this one.
The Blue Jays hit three home runs in the sixth and seventh innings -- including two by Colby Rasmus -- to give Hutchison the lead and give the bullpen a cushion to work with.
Kansas City tagged Hutchison for four runs in the fifth, but the Royals' lead didn't last long. Rasmus hit a two-run blast off Everett Teaford in the top of the sixth to give the Blue Jays a 6-5 lead, the winning hit. In the seventh, Edwin Encarnacion hit a two-run homer and Rasmus added his second dinger of the night to bump the lead to 9-5.
"The offense [Saturday] did a great job and made it a little easier on me," Hutchison said. "I wouldn't say easy, but anytime they're putting up that type of run support it gives you a chance to go out there and really compete."
Farrell said Rasmus' big night was the product of his strong work ethic.
"Well, he's been in a good place for quite a while," Farrell said. "We're seeing the average, we're seeing the overall production continue to climb. I think he feels comfortable, he feels relaxed and he's had a very good pregame routine for quite a while now, and it's starting to translate and carry over into the game."
The Blue Jays and Royals traded leads through the first six innings.
Royals outfielder Alex Gordon hit a solo homer off Hutchison in the first inning to give Kansas City an early lead. But the Blue Jays used a four-run fourth inning to chase Royals starter Luis Mendoza from the game.
Adam Lind doubled to lead things off, and Eric Thames grounded out to move Lind over to third. The Blue Jays followed with five consecutive singles, plating a quartet of runs for a 4-1 advantage.
Hutchison was good through the first four innings, allowing just the Gordon home run. But he worked himself into a few tough jams that he eventually got out of, including one in the third inning that ended with a double-play ball.
The Royals finally got to Hutchison in the fifth, when Alcides Escobar came home on a Mitch Maier triple and a Yuniesky Betancourt single plated Maier. Three batters later, Eric Hosmer hit a two-run home run to center field to give the Royals a brief 5-4 lead.
"I thought, 'OK, here we go,'" Royals manager Ned Yost said. "But then we came right back out and gave up a two-run homer, and it kind of took the wind out of our sails a little bit."
Hutchison left in the sixth with two runners on, but Darren Oliver ended the threat. Oliver struck out Maier and induced a line-drive out off the bat of Betancourt to end the frame and preserve Hutchison's lead.
Farrell said he was pleased with Hutchison's first career outing.
"I thought Drew threw the ball as we anticipated," Farrell said. "He had the one inning, the four-run inning, where he worked behind in the count a couple of times. ... But I thought he kept his poise. He threw strikes, with his fastball particularly. ... All in all, I think an impressive first time out."
Farrell wasn't the only one impressed by Hutchison's effort, but Yost focused on the Royals' missed opportunities.
"That kid did a nice job of commanding the ball," Yost said. "He kept the ball down, he moved both sides of the plate. We had opportunities to score on him and we did score on him, but, again, when you get five runs and it's the sixth inning, you want your bullpen to hold them and we just couldn't do that."
Hutchison said he wasn't too nervous for his debut and that it was good to get the first game out of the way. He praised his offense and the defense behind him. Hutchison also said he was excited to get the win in front of a crowd of 27,804 that included his parents and sister.
"It was real nice," Hutchison said. "Real exciting for them to be here and be a part of it. They've given up a lot for me to be in this position, so they deserve to be here. And I'm so happy that they could be here."
Farrell was also pleased with the offense, which banged out a season-high 14 hits.
"Anytime you put nine runs on the board it's a good night," Farrell said.
Vinnie Duber is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.