Kevin Millwood picked up his second victory tonight, but it wasn’t easy.
Millwood lasted only five innings, and he needed 116 pitches to get through them. He also fell behind, 3-0, before the Orioles rallied.
Millwood walked the first two batters in the fifth. He allowed a run, but struck out Mike Stanton to end the inning and put himself in line for the win.
“I was going to try to stick with him as long as I could to try to get him the win, but if he walked Stanton, I would have had to get him,” interim manager Juan Samuel said. “Knowing the kind of pitcher Kevin is, you didn’t expect him to be happy, but those are the kind of things we have to do as a manager. We have to make the decisions.
“We’ve all seen him pitch better and come up empty. His last couple of wins I think have been important where the team really had to bear down and score some runs for him there. It was very nice to see him get his second win.”
Millwood wasn’t blaming the heat for his struggles. The guy pitched in Texas. He can handle anything.
“The heat wasn’t a big deal,” he said. “I’ve pitched in heat my whole career. It’s no big deal. The big deal was not locating. It’s become a problem my last four or five starts. It’s something that I’ve got to figure out and get fixed so I can go more than five or six innings.”
Millwood knew he had to retire Stanton or come out of the game.
“I just wanted to get out of that inning and give us a chance,” he said. “I just threw out what I had left and it worked. The guys came back and put a few more runs on the board and made it a pretty comfortable win there in the end.”