Millwood to take on Red Sox

Millwood to take on Red Sox

There were some doubts.

After all, Kevin Millwood was 3-6 with a 6.28 ERA in his first 12 starts at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington in 2006, leaving some lingering doubt about him being suited to pitch here.

But Millwood squelched such talk by going 4-1 with a 3.63 ERA in his final five starts at home. He was 7-7 with a 5.38 ERA overall in Arlington, but said he learned one thing about pitching here.

"It wasn't as bad as people made it out to be," Millwood said. "I didn't have a problem with it. There were just times when I didn't pitch well."

He starts anew at the Ballpark when he makes his first home start of the season on Saturday against the Boston Red Sox. Millwood lost his first start of the season, giving up three runs on five hits and two walks in a 4-1 loss to the Angels.

"I thought I threw the ball pretty well," Millwood said. "I made a couple of mistakes, but overall I felt good and was able to make my pitches."

He will be opposed by Julian Tavarez, the Red Sox right-hander who is switching from the bullpen to the starting rotation. This will be his second career start against the Rangers.

The last one came on Aug. 14, 1993, in his rookie season and second Major League start. He was with the Cleveland Indians at the time. Tavarez pitched against Steve Dreyer and picked up his first Major League win, allowing three runs in 5 2/3 innings in an 8-5 victory.

The Rangers lineup that night included Mario Diaz at third base and Dan Peltier in right.

The next night the Rangers sent Nolan Ryan to the mound and he beat the Indians, 4-1, for his last Major League victory. He retired at the end of the season.

Pitching matchup
TEX: RHP Kevin Millwood (0-1, 5.40)
Millwood was 0-1 with a 5.73 ERA in two starts against the Red Sox last year, and is 3-3 with a 4.12 ERA against them in his career. He lost his first game to the Angels on Opening Day, allowing three runs in five innings. The Rangers limited him to 82 pitches, and he probably won't throw more than 100 in this outing.

BOS: RHP Julian Tavarez (5-4, 4.47 in 2006)
Tavarez is 2-3 with a 5.86 ERA in 19 career appearances against the Rangers. He made two appearances against them on June 10-11 of last year and allowed three runs in 3 2/3 innings. Tavarez was supposed to be in the Red Sox's bullpen, but he moved to the rotation when Jonathan Papelbon was moved to the closer's role. Tavarez was 2-0 with a 2.95 ERA in Spring Training.

Player to watch
Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz is 5-for-9 with three home runs and seven RBIs in his career against Millwood.

On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• my27

On radio
• 1080 KRLD AM, 1270 KFLC AM (Español)

Up next
• Sunday: Red Sox (Curt Schilling, 0-1, 11.25) at Rangers (Vicente Padilla, 0-1, 11.57), 7:05 p.m. CT
• Monday: Devil Rays (Edwin Jackson, 0-0, 5.45 in 2006) at Rangers (Brandon McCarthy 0-1, 4.50), 7:05 p.m. CT
• Tuesday: Devil Rays (Jae Seo, 0-0, 7.11) at Rangers (Jamey Wright, 6-10, 5.19 in 2006), 7:05 p.m. CT

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.