Red Sox

Red Sox

BOSTON - It's been over six years since Boston native Rich Hill started a baseball game in the big leagues.

It was July 27, 2009 and Hill was playing for the Baltimore Orioles at the time. He didn't make it out of the third inning, allowing three runs on four hits and three walks in a loss to the Royals. It was his last appearance for the O's that season.

That was followed by three seasons with the Red Sox, the first two totaling just 12.0 innings thanks to Tommy John surgery that forced him to miss most of 2011. From Boston, he joined the Indians - and it's been a bit of a crazy journey since, taking him back through Boston, then to the Los Angeles Angels for about a week, the Yankees, Nationals, and now back to the Sox once again.

But unlike his three seasons with the Red Sox that all came out of the pen, he'll begin this stint out of the rotation.

At 35 years old, Hill is back to being a starting pitcher. A successful five games (2.78 ERA) as a starting pitcher with the PawSox has earned him the job as the Red Sox' sixth pitcher. He'll make his debut on Sunday against the Tampa Bay Rays, following Wade Miley and Rick Porcello who will start the first two games of the series, respectively.

"I know that he's very encouraged by this comfortable arm slot that he found this past season in independent ball and it's translated into some very productive outings in Pawtucket," Torey Lovullo said. "I know that he's throwing a lot of downhill strikes and he's feeling very good about where he's at right now. So what am I looking for? That to continue, for him to not change anything that he's been working on that helped him get back to this point, and see where he's at. And I know he's battle-tested, he's been through a lot, we all know that. So I think he's ready for this challenge."