Tony Gwynn & Jeff Passan: Will Clemens consider Boston?
For the second time this week, another member of the 2004 World Series championship team returns to Fenway Park in an opponent’s uniform.
Millar spent three seasons with the Red Sox, including in 2004 when Boston won its first World Series in 86 years. He signed a one-year deal with Baltimore (14-16) in January and was expected to bring leadership and offensive punch into the lineup.
He batted .276 with 25 home runs and 96 RBIs with the Red Sox in 2003. He followed that up with a .297 average, 18 homers and 74 RBIs for the World Series champions in 2004, but his production dropped last year, when he hit .272 with nine homers and 50 RBIs.
“He definitely added a lot of heart and a lot of soul in the Red Sox, and he left it here,” Boston’s Kevin Youkilis said.
Millar is batting just .205 with two homers and 10 RBIs in 22 games for Baltimore.
This will be the second reunion between the Red Sox and a former teammate this week. On Monday, Johnny Damon returned to Fenway for the first time since leaving Boston (16-12) during the offseason to join the New York Yankees.
Millar has one hit in 10 career at-bats against Curt Schilling, (4-1, 2.88 ERA), who gets the start for Boston and looks to join Chicago’s Jose Contreras and New York’s Randy Johnson as the only five-game winners in AL.
Schilling struck out a season-high nine on Sunday in his last start against Tampa Bay, but gave up three runs and six hits over six innings in a 5-4 loss.
“The starting pitching has to step up and it just didn’t happen,” Schilling said.
The right-hander’s best outing of the season came against Baltimore on April 8 when he allowed a run and three hits through seven innings in a 2-1 win. Schilling is 3-4 with a 3.63 ERA in his career against the Orioles.
Rodrigo Lopez (1-3, 6.81) looks for his first win since opening day when he starts for the seventh time this season. The right-hander have given up at least four runs in all six of his previous starts, including in his Sunday in a 4-3 loss to Seattle.
Lopez went six innings, giving up four runs—three in the fifth.
“He had the one bad inning where he got in trouble and gave up some runs,” Baltimore manager Sam Perlozzo said. “I thought he threw the ball fairly well today. He needs to be a little more consistent, just like everyone else.”
Lopez is 10-6 lifetime against the Red Sox with a 3.90 ERA. In his start against Boston on April 9, he pitched 5 2-3 innings, giving up four runs and eight hits while walking four in a 4-1 loss.
Tejada still leads the AL in batting, five points ahead of Cleveland’s Victor Martinez.
Boston settled for a split of its two-game series with Toronto after a 7-4 win Thursday. Mike Lowell’s two-run double keyed a five-run first inning for the Red Sox.
Since winning all six meetings at home from the Orioles in 1995, the Red Sox are 35-42 at Fenway against them.