Halton Hills and North Halton newspapers
Hill makes Canadian debut : Family and friends on hand to see hurler fall 6-1 to Jays
Independent & Free Press (Georgetown, ON), 30 Jun 2006, p. 17

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Hill makes Canadian debut

Family and friends on hand to see hurler fall 6-1 to Jays

EAMONN MAHER Staff Writer There was no lack of moral support in the audience for Shawn Hill at the Rogers Centre on Wednesday night as his Washington Nationals took on the Toronto Blue Jays. But the 25-year-old righthanded pitcher could have used some offensive support from his Nationals' teammates as they were soundly beaten 6-1 by the home side. It was the first time that Hill, who was born in Mississauga and grew up in Georgetown, started a game in Canada and he had about 80 family members and friends in attendance. "My grandparents have never gotten to see me pitch before at the big-league level," he said before the game. "They'd always hoped they'd be around for this, so they'll be here [Wednesday] to see me throw. And in that respect, I think it'll be nice that my family gets to see me throw, more than anything." After tossing four scoreless innings, things unraveled for Hill in the fifth on a two-run triple by Toronto's Reed Johnson as the ball skipped underneath Washington centrefielder Marlon Byrd's glove and rolled to the fence. Hill gave up four runs on nine hits on the night, watching his record this year fall to 1-3 with a 4.66 ERA. Nationals' hitters supplied just three hits while Hill was on the mound and manager Frank Robinson was furious afterward, calling a closed-door team meeting. It's been a whirlwind tour for Hill over the past month, after he was called up from triple-A New Orleans by the struggling Nationals, who have a 33-46 record this year and are experiencing injury problems with their pitching staff. The Bishop Reding grad, who has recovered from major elbow surgery after taking the 2005 campaign off, didn't expect to stick around with the Nationals for long, but has impressed management with four quality starts thus far. He is slated to start again Monday night in Washington against the Florida Marlins. Growing up a Jays' fan, Hill said he wasn't nervous about pitching in front of so many of his supporters and was poised and confident through his first four innings. In his previous two starts, Hill has had to face the mighty New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox in Fenway Park. The red-hot Sox touched up Hill for eight runs through six innings, including a second-inning grand slam by David Ortiz. Hill picked up his first Major League win against the Blue Jays on July 4, 2004 in Puerto Rico as a member of the Montreal Expos. (Eamonn Maher can be reached at emaher@independentfreepress.com)

Washington Nationals pitcher Shawn Hill (centre) of Georgetown confers with catcher Brian Schneider and pitching coach Randy St. Claire in the fifth inning of the Nats' 6-1 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays Wednesday at the Rogers Centre. Photo by Eamonn Maher

Maher, Eamonn
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Date of Publication:
30 Jun 2006
Personal Name(s):
Hill, Shawn ; Schneider, Brian ; St. Claire, Randy
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Toronto Blue Jays ; Rogers Centre
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Hill makes Canadian debut : Family and friends on hand to see hurler fall 6-1 to Jays