The Los Angeles Dodgers had their six-game winning streak in Rich Hill starts and 12-game winning streak in one-run games snapped by the San Diego Padres in the series opener at Dodger Stadium on Friday night.
Of more concern, however, was the health and status of Hill. He was struck on the upper chest/throat by a Clayton Richard fastball with one on and nobody out in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said postgame that Hill was taken to the hospital for testing out of precaution. The second-year manager stressed the situation is not considered serious, and the Dodgers announced X-rays came back negative.
Hill let out a yell and immediately went to the ground in pain after being hit by the pitch. Roberts and Dodgers head athletic trainer Nate Lucero rushed to check on Hill, who sat up, eventually rose to his feet and jogged down to first base.
“In talking to him initially, he was OK. More of a scare,” Roberts said. “Initially, I didn’t know if it got him on the wrist. Then I saw him holding his throat. That’s obviously such a sensitive area. From the initial thoughts and talking to the medical staff, we dodged a bullet.”
Up to that point Hill had allowed two runs, one of which came on a Manuel Margot home run. A noticeable welt and bruising began to form on his chest, though Hill didn’t show any signs of being affected.
He finished the outing by throwing scoreless fifth and sixth innings. Hill’s nine strikeouts gave him a sixth game in his last seven starts with at least eight punchouts. He did not factor into the decision for a second consecutive outing.
The Dodgers have upcoming off days on Monday and Thursday, which will allow for them to shuffle their starting rotation and provide Hill with additional rest to compensate for potential residual swelling or pain, rather than place him on the 10-day disabled list.