He’ll try to keep pitching like one.
Millwood will be looking for his third win in four starts when he takes the mound for the finale of a three-game series against the San Francisco Giants at Veterans Stadium.
On Tuesday, Phillies manager Larry Bowa moved Millwood up a spot in the rotation so he could keep pitching every fifth day. He responded by tossing six strong innings in a 5-2 win over the Colorado Rockies.
The change also allowed him to pitch at home against San Francisco instead of at Los Angeles on Monday after a cross-country trip.
“On most teams, so-called number one starters pitch every fifth day,” Millwood said. “Ever since I’ve been here, everyone has given me a level of respect that I haven’t encountered before. I’m being treated in a way that shows they appreciate me.”
Now that he is an unquestioned staff ace, he will look to pitch against the Giants as he did against the Rockies earlier this week. Millwood limited Colorado to one run and three hits while striking out four.
The Phillies will also look to hand the Giants their first series loss of the season. After dropping Friday’s series opener 7-4, Philadelphia pounded San Francisco 10-2 on Saturday.
The loss snapped the Giants’ three-game winning streak, but their 18-5 start still matches their best since moving to San Francisco in 1958—tying the 1962 and 1971 teams.
STANDINGS: Giants - 1st place, NL West. Phillies - 2nd place (tied), 1 GB, NL East.
GIANTS PROBABLE STARTER: Jesse Foppert (0-1, 9.00 ERA). Foppert took the loss Tuesday in his first career start. In four innings of a 5-2 setback to the Pittsburgh Pirates, he gave up five runs and five hits. The rookie right-hander has never faced the Phillies.
PHILLIES PROBABLE STARTER: Millwood (3-1, 4.74 ERA). In six career appearances against the Giants, Millwood is 3-2 with a 4.78 ERA.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Giants - J.T. Snow, .364 avg. and 21 RBIs; Jose Cruz Jr., 7 HRs and 22 runs; Ray Durham, 4 SBs. Phillies - Mike Lieberthal, .353 avg.; Bobby Abreu, Pat Burrell and Jim Thome, 3 HRs; Thome, 18 RBIs; Jimmy Rollins, 19 runs; Abreu and Rollins, 2 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Tied, 1-1.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Giants - 3B Edgardo Alfonzo is batting just .162 (6-for-37) in his career against RHP Millwood. … With a 5-3 record on its nine-game road trip, San Francisco has already clinched a winning record for the trip. The Giants have gone 4-0-1 in their last five trips dating to August 2002. … LF Barry Bonds is 0-for-6 in the series’ first two games. Phillies - LHP Hector Mercado was scheduled to make a rehab start Saturday with Double-A Reading, but inclement weather pushed the start to Sunday. Mercado has a high hamstring strain in his right leg. … RHP Millwood is now 7-1 all-time at Veterans Stadium, including 2-1 this season. … 1B Thome was in a 1-for-13 slump before going 1-for-3 with a homer Saturday.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Giants - 11-3 on the road; Phillies - 9-6 at home.
INJURIES: Giants - LHP Jason Christiansen (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Ryan Jensen (back), 15-day DL; RHP Robb Nen (shoulder), 15-day DL. Phillies - IF Placido Polanco (finger), 15-day DL; OF Marlon Byrd (knee), 15-day DL; RHP David Coggin (shoulder), 15-day DL; LHP Mercado (hamstring), 15-day DL.