Hill left AAA Iowa with six straight winning decisions last month. Over his last nine starts with the team, he posted a 1.45 ERA in 62.1 innings, notching 81 strikeouts to 13 walks. He struck out 14 batters in each of his last two starts for Iowa: against Albuquerque on July 16, and Memphis on July 22.
"He needs to pretend he's in the minor leagues," manager Dusty Baker said recently. "Sometimes you have to trick yourself."
Hill did a nice job of tricking the opposition Wednesday. He retired eight straight batters at one point and stayed clear of trouble most all evening.
His first big league win was a long time coming.
"Everything felt great tonight. I felt like I did in Triple-A," Hill told Inside The Ivy after the game. "I went out and attacked the hitters. Nothing really felt different from my last start against the Cardinals. Every pitch I threw, I threw with convention and attacked every hitter the way I did down in Triple-A.
"It felt good."