Sunday, July 3, 2011

PawSox pitching preview

Home hurler
Kevin Millwood will bookend Pawtucket’s six-night, seven-game homestand when he takes the ball at 6:05 this evening to face his former teammates. The towering veteran righty will try once again to enhance his 3-0 record with the PawSox after two straight no-decisions, the first being in Louisville June 23 and the more recent one being last Tuesday’s 8-6 home win over Rochester.

Earlier this season, Millwood went 1-1 over two starts with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. His lone win with the AAA Yankees was a complete-game 4-2 triumph over Syracuse on April 23 at PNC Field. Millwood allowed seven hits in as many innings and struck out three in Part One of a doubleheader.

Since the beginning of June, Millwood has been the only Pawtucket pitcher to garner a victory on a Sunday. His five-inning effort to vanquish Charlotte at McCoy on June 12 was sandwiched by losses to Durham June 5, Lehigh Valley June 19, and Indianapolis a week ago.

Guest starter
Lefty Greg Smith will make his fifth appearance and fourth straight at the Triple-A level since a June 13 reassignment from the parent Bronx Bombers. He most recently lost to the Norfolk Tides this past Tuesday, 9-2, giving up seven runs (six earned) on seven hits in six innings.

Before that, though, Smith won back-to-back decisions at home against Columbus and Norfolk.

The PawSox, who are 12-11 against left-handed starters, will try to prolong Smith’s winless streak (one loss, one no-decision/relief appearance) away from PNC Field.

Each of the PawSox’ next two games will be regional televised. Cox cameras will be on hand this evening, and tomorrow’s road tilt with Rochester can be seen on NESN.

This evening will mark the second time the 2011 PawSox have faced a given adversary the day after they dropped both installments of a doubleheader to the same foe. On April 15, one day removed a 3-2 and 4-1 setback in Syracuse, they rebounded to knock off the host Chiefs, 8-2.

That April 15 triumph also halted their first three-game losing streak of the season. Saturday evening’s 7-0 falter marked the fourth, but Pawtucket has yet to drop four in a row at any point.

A win Sunday will pull the Sox to within a half-game back of Scranton for second place in the International League North and pull their home record (20-21) back onto the .500 fence.