Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts ended Friday night’s game against the Orioles by robbing Chris Davis of a home run. The blast would have ended starter Rich Hill’s bid for a shutout. The Red Sox took the first game of the three-game set 7-0.
Hill, in the outing, limited the O’s to two hits and a walk while striking out 10. The 35-year-old lefty made his season debut on September 13, making his first major league start since 2009. Now with three starts under his belt, his stats are mind-blowing considering where he’s been in recent years:
Red Sox starter Rich Hill dominated the Rays on Sunday afternoon, making his first start since 2009. The well-traveled left-hander tossed seven shutout innings, yielding only one hit and one walk while striking out 10 batters as the Red Sox enjoyed a 2-0 victory.
Hill, 35, spent the 2010-12 seasons with the Red Sox but accrued only 31 2/3 innings due to elbow and forearm injuries. He spent time with the Indians, Angels, and Yankees prior to signing a minor league deal with the Nationals in late February. The Nationals, however, released Hill in June and the Red Sox signed him to a minor league deal in August.
Hill’s game score of 84 ranks as the second-best start of his career. The only better game resulted in a 92 game score, when he threw nine shutout innings on two hits and a walk with 10 strikeouts against the Reds on September 16, 2006. Entering Sunday’s action, only 74 of over 4,200 games started this season (less than two percent) resulted in a game score of 84 or better.
The Nationals have agreed to terms with left-hander Rich Hill on a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Hill, who turns 35 next month, bounced around three different organizations last year and mostly pitched in the minors. The sidearmer had a 3.38 ERA in 16 appearances between the Angels and Yankees and posted a 2.93 ERA in 29 appearances at the Triple-A level with New York and Boston. Hill pitched with the Indians in 2013 and struggled to the tune of a 6.28 ERA and 51/29 K/BB ratio over 38 2/3 innings.
Hill could compete for a job as a left-handed specialist this spring. He has held left-handed batters to a .216 batting average in his career.