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Hill's Game 6 start ends in fifth inning

MLB.com @LangoschMLB

LOS ANGELES -- Despite a desire to pitch deeper into his Game 6 start Tuesday night, Rich Hill, just as he did in his World Series debut, found himself walking slowly back to the dugout without the chance to get through the fifth in the Dodgers' eventual 3-1 win in Game 6 to even the World Series at three games apiece.

Hill mostly cruised through the first four innings, which he finished on 45 pitches. He served up a solo homer to George Springer but otherwise retired 12 of 13 batters faced. But a single by Brian McCann and a subsequent double from Marwin Gonzalez to open the fifth prompted immediate activity in the Dodgers' bullpen.

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LOS ANGELES -- Despite a desire to pitch deeper into his Game 6 start Tuesday night, Rich Hill, just as he did in his World Series debut, found himself walking slowly back to the dugout without the chance to get through the fifth in the Dodgers' eventual 3-1 win in Game 6 to even the World Series at three games apiece.

Hill mostly cruised through the first four innings, which he finished on 45 pitches. He served up a solo homer to George Springer but otherwise retired 12 of 13 batters faced. But a single by Brian McCann and a subsequent double from Marwin Gonzalez to open the fifth prompted immediate activity in the Dodgers' bullpen.

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Hill rebounded with strikeouts of Josh Reddick and Justin Verlander. He then issued an intentional walk to Springer before Dodgers manager Dave Roberts once again turned to reliever Brandon Morrow.

Morrow, who became the fourth pitcher in history to pitch in six straight World Series games, induced an inning-ending groundout from Alex Bregman to end the threat.

"[Hill] came out and threw the ball really well, and matched Verlander pitch for pitch. Really was outstanding," Roberts said. "I just felt that with Verlander on the mound, that was going to be the game. A guy we've trusted all year long in that spot, I felt you have to use that bullet in Morrow. ... He came through in the biggest spot of the season."

Though Hill allowed a total of five runs in four starts this postseason, only once was he given enough leash to finish five innings. His early departure Tuesday meant that a weary Dodgers bullpen was called upon to cover 4 1/3 innings in an effort to force a Game 7.

"I felt like the ball came out of my hand the way I wanted it to," Hill said. "I just didn't want to have any regrets looking back. Leaving everything on the field was very important."

Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Los Angeles Dodgers, Rich Hill