Millwood regroups (for a while)

After giving up more first-inning runs, Kevin Millwood has settled into a nice groove today through the fourth inning vs. his former team, the Texas Rangers.

Millwood gave up a single, walk and three-run homer to Josh Hamilton to start today’s game and put the O’s in a 3-0 hole. Millwood has now allowed 38 runs in the first inning this year and his ERA is 13.32 in that inning. Opponent hitters are batting .390 in the opening inning vs. the right-hander.

But he pitched shutout ball over the next three frames. Millwood, who threw 20 pitches in the first, needed just 33 to get the next nine outs.

He’s facing one of three teams today that he has never beaten. Texas, Atlanta and Minnesota are on that list.

Millwood went 48-46, 4.57 for Texas from 2006-09 and is facing them today for the first time since August 18, 2005.

Meanwhile, Texas starter Tommy Hunter, who entered with an ERA of 9.39 over his last four starts, retired the first nine O’s today through three. But he gave up a Brian Roberts double and Nick Markakis RBI single in the fourth.

It’s Texas 3, O’s 1 after four today at the Yard.

Update: All those good pitches he threw for a few innings came to a crashing halt when Millwood hung a curve ball to Vladimir Guerrero and he hit a three-run homer just over the fence in left in the 5th to give Texas a 6-1 lead. Millwood has now allowed 26 homers this year, with 19 coming at home.

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