Support the news
Rusney Castillo made sure Rich Hill's comeback start ended in a victory.
Castillo had a go-ahead two-run single in the 13th inning, and Hill was strong in his first start in six years as the Boston Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays 2-0 on Sunday.
"The outing speaks for itself," Boston interim manager Torey Lovullo said of Hill. "It's a great story."
Hill allowed an infield single in seven shutout innings for Boston. He struck out 10, walked one and hit two batters during a 109-pitch outing.
The lone hit off Hill came when Xander Bogaerts couldn't cleanly field J.P. Arencibia's grounder on a backhand attempt in the hole during the third. Tampa Bay got its second hit in the 12th on a Steven Souza Jr. double.
Hill last started Aug. 27, 2009 against Kansas City while with Baltimore. It was his first game in the majors since last Sept. 23 after pitching this season for independent league Long Island and in Triple-A.
"As things progressed, it became more of a reality," Hill said. "Things have to fall into place, too, which they did. It worked out well. Fortunate to get the opportunity here with Boston."
Boston loaded the bases in the 13th on one-out singles by Dustin Pedroia, Bogaerts and Travis Shaw off Enny Romero (0-1). Andrew Bellatti replaced Romero and gave up Castillo's line drive single to left.
Heath Hembree (1-0) pitched the 12th, working out of a two-on, one-out jam to get his first career win. Robbie Ross Jr. allowed a single in the 13th en route to his second save.
Tampa Bay had just three hits and extended their team record extra-inning losing streak to 11 games.
"I don't know what to say about that," Souza said of the extra-inning woes. "It's nuts."
Boston slugger David Ortiz got the day off after homering twice Saturday night to become the 27th major leaguer to reach 500 homers.
Drew Smyly scattered four hits, walked two and tied his career-high with 11 strikeouts over six scoreless innings for the Rays. The left-hander has not given up a run in three of six starts since returning from a torn left labrum.
Boston's Mookie Betts extended his career-best hitting streak to 18 games with a third-inning single. It's the longest streak for a Red Sox player since Jacoby Ellsbury had a 19-game run in 2013.
INF Brock Holt (upper back spasms) missed his second straight game.
The Red Sox said the time between starts for Hill was the longest for a left-hander since Brad Thomas went 8 years, 256 days between starts Aug. 11, 2001 and Apr. 24, 2010. Thomas was with Minnesota when he made the 2001 start at Tampa Bay, a game in which Ortiz homered as the Twins DH.
The Rays said it was just the sixth time since 1914 that both starting pitchers had at least 10 strikeouts and didn't allow a run.
LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (9-5) looks to extend his winning streak to four games against RHP Kevin Gausman (2-6) and the Baltimore Orioles on Monday night.
Support the news