You only get one chance to make a first impression, as the old saying goes, and veteran left-hander Rich Hill fumbled his with the Angels on Tuesday.
Acquired from the Boston Red Sox organization for cash, Hill entered the first game of a doubleheader in the ninth inning with a five-run lead and allowed the Chicago White Sox to load the bases with no outs on a single and two walks.
Joe Smith replaced Hill and got a double-play grounder and a groundout to close an 8-4 victory at U.S. Cellular Field.
Relievers usually have to wait at least a day to redeem themselves, but Hill only had to wait about three hours. He entered the nightcap with a runner on second and two outs in the sixth inning and walked Adam Eaton with a wild pitch that put runners on first and third.
Mike Morin replaced Hill and struck out Leury Garcia to preserve a 6-5 lead, and the Angels went on to a 7-5 win and a doubleheader sweep.
‘My performance was not good -- I didn’t throw the ball well at all,” said Hill, who was 3-3 with a 3.23 earned run average in 25 games for triple-A Pawtucket. “I’m looking forward to getting back and taking ownership of better outings. There are no excuses. It comes down to work, keeping your nose down, grinding away.”
Manager Mike Scioscia said he thought Hill, whom the Angels hope will fill a role as a left-handed relief specialist, struggled to find a consistent release point.
“His velocity is good, and he’s spinning the ball well, but he gives up a hit and three walks in two games,” Scioscia said. “He’s better than that. He’ll find it.”Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times