BOSTON (AP) Rich Hill had to first show he could be a starter again in, of all places, the independent league.
He's certainly proving it in the big leagues, too.
Hill kept up his startling comeback, pitching a two-hitter and striking out 10 as the Boston Red Sox beat the Orioles 7-0 Friday night.
''As a reliever,'' Hill said when asked if any majors' team showed interest. ''No team would take a chance as a starter without going to play independent baseball, re-proving (myself) again to be able to go out and start again.''
The 35-year-old Hill (2-0) was released by Washington in June, then played for the Long Island Ducks before signing a minor league deal with the Red Sox in August.
''Where can I start?'' Boston's interim manager Torey Lovullo said. ''It's a complete-game shutout, in command of every inning, 10 more strikeouts and, for a guy that has resurrected his career the way he has, that was really impressive.''
Hill threw his second career shutout - the other came in 2006 with the Chicago Cubs. The game ended when right fielder Mookie Betts made a leaping catch at the wall, robbing Chris Davis of a homer.
''It was scripted in an unbelievable way to end the game the way it did,'' Lovullo said.
Hill gave up a hit to the first batter he faced before holding Baltimore hitless until Dariel Alvarez opened the ninth with an infield single.
''He has a big huge curveball and has a fastball that comes out of the same slot,'' Orioles catcher Caleb Joseph said. ''You don't see many of those hammer curveballs anymore and he's got it. Really good performance tonight. He's a veteran and knows how to pitch.''
Earlier this month, Hill became the first Red Sox pitcher to fan 10 or more in his initial two starts.
''That was a lot of fun,'' Hill said. ''That was great. What a catch by Mookie.''
David Ortiz had three doubles and three RBIs as Boston stopped a three-game losing streak. Xander Bogaerts added three hits and drove in a run.
Kevin Gausman (3-7) gave up five runs in five-plus innings, falling to 1-6 with a 6.10 ERA on the road.
Even he noticed how well Hill looked.
''He threw everything for strikes,'' he said. ''He was pretty impressive to watch from the other side.''
The Orioles were coming off a three-game sweep of the Nationals.
Hill hadn't started in the majors in six years before coming up in September. The Red Sox are the fourth big league team the lefty has pitched for in the last three seasons.
Leading 2-0 in the sixth, Boston scored two runs when both players slid into the plate a second or so apart on Ortiz's double that chased Gausman.
Dustin Pedroia drew a leadoff walk and Bogaerts singled. Ortiz then hit a deep shot to right, just out of the reach of Alvarez.
Pedroia, who held up to see if the ball was caught so he could tag, beat the relay throw by going in headfirst before Bogaerts slid in ahead of Joseph's tag. Brock Holt's RBI double made it 5-0.
Orioles: CF Adam Jones was out of the starting lineup for the fourth straight game because of back spasms.
Red Sox: 3B Pablo Sandoval missed his fifth straight with pneumonia. He's scheduled to be evaluated Saturday.
KEEP GETTING ON
Betts has reached safely in 28 straight games, the longest by a Boston player since Mike Napoli's 33 in 2014.
CUT `EM DOWN
LF Steve Pearce threw out Pedroia at the plate for the Orioles' major-league best 44th outfield assist.
Orioles: LHP Wei-Yin Chen (10-7) is set to start the Saturday. He's won his last two starts, giving up just three runs in 14 innings.
Red Sox: Lefty reliever Craig Breslow (0-3) is scheduled to make his first career start as Lovullo goes to a ''bullpen game.'' Breslow has made 522 relief appearances in 10 years.