Valentine: Hill has 'passed all the tests'


Valentine: Hill has 'passed all the tests'

CHICAGO -- Rich Hill's rehab stint won't be over until early next month, but it would surprise no one if Hill is called up muchsooner by the Red Sox, perhaps as soon as Friday.
The lefty reliever, who underwent Tommy John surgery on his left elbow last June, has been on a rehab assignment for the past two weeks and recently made back-to-back appearances for Pawtucket on Tuesday and Wednesday.
"He's pitched very well,'' said Bobby Valentine. "Today's a kind of evlaluation, make-sure-he-feels-good day. I think we'll have a planfor him."
Having pitched the previous two days, Hill would have been no use to the Red Sox Thursday. But his arrival could come soonerrather than later.
Asked if Hill might join the Sox this weekend here, Valentine said: "Oh, I don't know. It's conceivable. It seems like he's pitched well enough.''
Valentine said Hill has already reached the prescribed goals set for the organization in terms of innings pitched.
"There were things that we wanted him to do,'' said Valentine. "Throw in competition, throw in a regulated, controlled environment, throw in a uncontrolled environment, throw back-to-back, throw to lefthanders and righthanders, throw with men on base... I think he's passed all the tests.''
It's likely that Hill will be used a lefty specialist, though Valentine said classifying the pitcher would be premature since "I've never see him pitch in a game. I think he'll be put in a situation where we'll try to figure out where he fits best.''
Hill would presumably replace Justin Thomas on the roster. Thomas faced two hitters Wednesday night in Minneapolis, allowing a double before plunking Chris Parmelee in the helmet.
One major league talent evaluator who's watched Thomas said the pitcher has "that deer-in-the-headlights look to him.''
Opposing batters have hit .476 off Thomas, with OPS against of 1.139. His WHIP is a bloated 2.57.

Talking points: Patrice Bergeron is best player on ice in Bruins' win


Talking points: Patrice Bergeron is best player on ice in Bruins' win

Here are the talking points from the Boston Bruins' 6-3 win over the Dallas Stars where Patrice Bergeron scored two goals.

Patrice Bergeron scores 2, Bruins beat Stars, 6-3, to end winning trip

Patrice Bergeron scores 2, Bruins beat Stars, 6-3, to end winning trip

Patrice Bergeron had two goals and an assist as the Boston Bruins beat the Dallas Stars 6-3 Sunday, improving to 6-1 under interim coach Bruce Cassidy.

The Bruins completed a 3-1 road trip.

Stars captain Jamie Benn and Boston forward David Backes began fighting just 2 seconds into the game and drew major penalties. They have a history between - this was the first time they've faced each other this season, and it was the third straight year they've fought.

The Stars had tied the game in the second period after trailing 2-0. But Frank Vatrano and Bergeron scored on deflections 40 seconds apart in the second, and Bergeron added his 16th goal of the season in the third period.

Brad Marchand, David Krejci scored in the first period for the Bruins. Marchand had two assists and Torey Krug had three assists.

John Klingberg and Jiri Hudler had second-period goals for Dallas, and Tyler Seguin scored in the third.

Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask had 33 saves.

Kari Lehtonen made 22 saves for Dallas. Three of Boston's goals came on deflections.

Vatrano deflected Kevan Miller's drive from the right point through traffic past Lehtonen to break a 2-2 tie in the second. Bergeron and Dallas defenseman Jordie Benn became tangled in front of Lehtonen on the Bruins' fourth goal.

Marchand scored from the left faceoff circle at 5:56 of the first period after taking a pass from behind the net from Bergeron.

Dallas made it 2-all on the first power play of the game. Hudler scored on a snap shot at 11:49 of the second.

Boston regained a two-goal lead less than 4 minutes later when Vatrano and Bergeron scored at 14:41 and 15:21.

NOTES: Dallas D Johnny Oduya returned after missing 15 games because of an ankle injury. . Miller and Dallas LW Curtis McKenzie also fought in the second period. . Marchand has 19 points (10 goals, nine assists) in his past 12 games. . Krejci has eight points (three goals, five assists) in his past seven games. . Krug has eight points (one goal, seven assists) in seven career games against the Stars. . Hudler has 18 points (11 goals, seven assists) in 14 career games vs. Boston. . The visiting team has won the last seven games between the teams, dating back to 2013-14.


Bruins: Begin a three-game homestand on Tuesday against Arizona.

Stars: Play the fourth of five straight home games vs. Pittsburgh on Tuesday.