ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — On June 18, Tim Hill was released by the White Sox — by far the worst team in the major leagues.

After going unclaimed by the other 29 teams, the lefty reliever signed with the Yankees two days later as a free agent. 

So for anyone searching for the unsung hero in the Yankees’ 2-1 victory over the Rays on Wednesday night at Tropicana Field, it doesn’t get more unsung than this. 

Hill came on for starter Marcus Stroman with the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the fifth inning.

The Rays already had scored one run to cut their deficit in half. But Hill struck out Josh Lowe on three pitches and induced a lineout to right field from Randy Arozarena. 

“I was just looking for a double play or strikeout,” Hill said. “So I got the strikeout and the next one I could just get any way I could. I was pumped to say the least.” 

Manager Aaron Boone was rewarded for his decision to lift Stroman at that critical moment in the game. 

“It was great. [Hill] came in and kind of just bulldogged it and carved up Lowe there with three straight pitches. Looked like he dotted them,” Boone said. “Then [he] gives up some solid contact to Arozarena, but right to [Juan] Soto. It was a great job, one of the many big moments in the game tonight.” 

In eight appearances with the Yankees, Hill, who was awarded the win Wednesday night, is 2-0 with a 2.38 ERA over 11 ¹/₃ innings. 

“I think he’s enjoying it. I hope he’s enjoying it,” Boone said. “He’s come over and gone through the rough stretch with us, but he’s thrown the ball really, really well for us.” 

And yes, Hill is enjoying his Yankees career that’s still less than a month old. 

“It’s been hectic [but I’m] starting to settle in, though,” the 34-year-old, 6-foot-4 sidearmer said. “But yeah, that’s baseball. It’s crazy.”

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