Hill hoping third time won't be a charm

Hill hoping third time won't be a charm

TORONTO -- Shawn Hill makes his first Major League start since April 2009 on Thursday, after his second Tommy John surgery was performed last June.

Hill, 29, also had the same surgery in 2004, the same year he won his first big league game with the Montreal Expos against the Blue Jays, which was particularly sweet since he is from the Toronto area, born in Mississauga, Ontario.

Shawn Marcum, who won his 12th game of the season on Tuesday, had the same surgery, so Hill has plenty of understanding and support on the team.

Marcum can relate to what Hill is going through.

"Absolutely," Marcum said. "Not as much as he can, he's on his second one, so I hope I don't have to go through that."

Marcum knows it takes time to get the pitching arm right again.

"I want to say, like the first 18 months, it's kind of a rocky road, up and down," he said. "You never know what you're going to come out with that day.

"There's some days in between starts where you don't feel good and there some days on the day you pitch you don't feel that great. You've just go to out there and battle and do everything you can that day."

Marcum, who had the surgery in September 2008, missed 2009 and has come back strong this season.