The Seattle Mariners apparently won’t have to worry about who will start in veteran Kevin Millwood’s rotation spot, because Millwood is all but certain it will be him.
Lifted from his Wednesday start after 39 pitches and 22/3 innings, he acknowledged Thursday he felt “some discomfort” in the right groin muscle that had first cropped up three starts earlier.
A new strain?
“I’m thinking it might just have been scar tissue tearing lose or something,” Millwood said. “I went out (Thursday) and threw, and I could use my legs again. I didn’t feel anything. That’s positive – but a little confusing, too.”
That’s two starts this month Millwood has departed early, and both were solid starts. The first, on June 8, he went the first six innings of what became Seattle’s 1-0 victory – a six-man combined no-hitter against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
On Wednesday, he departed a 1-1 tie that became a 2-1 Oakland win, despite the fact the Athletics were held to two hits.
“We’re going to have the doctors check him out, but the fact he didn’t feel anything today makes us hope we can get him right back out there,” manager Eric Wedge said.
Wedge was asked the almost daily question during homestands: What can the Mariners do to improve their offense at Safeco Field, where they’ve had trouble hitting and scoring?
“You’ve got to like where you work, and it’s a beautiful ballpark,” Wedge said. “You can only control what you do in the batter’s box no matter where you’re playing, so hit the ball hard and let the rest take care of itself.
“You can’t try hitting home runs or hitting doubles. Don’t look past the ball. Simplify. Focus.”
Wedge said the park had at least three things working for it when the Mariners play at home.
“One, there’s a lot of energy here. Two, you know you’re going to play every day – no rainouts here,” he said. “And three, the size of it can be an advantage to an athletic team.
“We’re close, and maybe that’s the hardest part of the fight, knowing we’re close.”
Mike Carp, on the disabled list with an inflamed right shoulder, has began swinging the bat again, hitting in the cages in the bowels of Safeco Field. … Tom Wilhelmsen began the game Thursday fourth among American League relievers with 39 innings pitched – and second in strikeouts with 48. … Rookie reliever Stephen Pryor (groin strain) is throwing again, though not yet from a mound.
Seattle hosts Boston in a 7:10 p.m. game that will be televised on Root Sports. Probable starting pitchers: Boston’s Aaron Cook (1-1, 9.39 ERA) vs. Hector Noesi (2-9, 5.50).email@example.com blog.thenewstribune.com/mariners