Hill sharp in 5-3 loss
Shawn Hill of Georgetown turned in his second decent start in a row for the Washington Nationals on Tuesday night in Atlanta, but ended up taking the loss in a 5-3 defeat to the Braves. Hill, 25, was making his second Major League start this season after missing the entire 2005 campaign due to Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. And it was an eventful appearance for the righthanded hurler as he was struck with a batted ball by SHAWN Atlanta's Edgar HILL Renteria in the second inning and then a shattered bat belonging to Marcus Giles of the Braves nearly struck Hill on the mound. On both plays Hill was uninjured and the hitter was thrown out at first base. Hill gave up seven hits and four runs, striking out two and walking two. He left after six innings with the Braves leading 4-3. In the fifth inning, Hill set down the Braves' vaunted 3-4-5 hitters, Chipper Jones, Andruw Jones and Adam LaRoche, in order, although LaRoche did hit his 10th homer of the season in the third inning off the foul pole. In total, Hill threw 94 pitchers, 55 of which were strikes. "My location the whole game wasn't the way I wanted it to be," Hill said on the Nationals' website. "I started throwing a little more carefully, coming around a little bit, as the game went on." Hill was called up two weeks ago from Washington's triple-A affiliate in New Orleans as a replacement in the Nats' starting rotation for John Patterson, who was placed on the 15day disabled list with a sore arm. Hill has impressed Nationals' manager Frank Robinson enough with a 2.77 ERA and just four earned runs allowed over 13 innings to get the nod to start again at home this Sunday against the Philadelphia Phillies. Hill made his big-league debut against the Phillies on June 29, 2004, when he gave up eight runs over three innings and was handed the loss.