ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Kevin Millwood said he felt fine after his first start in almost three weeks.
It was a very encouraging sign for the Texas Rangers.Millwood allowed one run through six innings, Brandon Boggs matched a career high with three RBIs and the Rangers beat the Oakland Athletics 3-1 Friday night.Millwood (3-3) gave up five hits, struck out five and didn't issue a walk in his first start since May 10 against Oakland. He was forced to leave that outing due to a strained right groin after throwing 12 pitches and recording two outs."Physically everything was fine," said Millwood, who was activated from the 15-day disabled list on Thursday. "The big thing was locating my fastball. I'm not going to blow people away. I rely on location and mixing up speeds. The last few starts I hadn't done that very well. Today I did."Millwood was on a pitch limit of 90 and reached 86 by the end of the sixth inning, leaving with the score tied at 1. Josh Hamilton doubled leading off the bottom half and scored on Boggs' flyball to set Millwood up for the victory."We needed him to do what he did," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He's our ace and we couldn't ask any more from him. He did his job."Boggs was a late addition to the lineup when Milton Bradley took himself out after feeling lightheaded before the game. The rookie took advantage of the opportunity with his third game with three RBIs, the first also coming against the A's on May 9."The kid is not intimidated," Washington said. "He's a sponge, he works hard and stays ready. Every opportunity he's gotten, he's done something with."Three relievers limited Oakland to two hits the rest of the way. Eddie Guardado pitched a perfect seventh, Joaquin Benoit worked the eighth, and C.J. Wilson gave up a leadoff single to Eric Chavez before recording the final three outs for his 11th save in 13 chances.The Rangers reached .500 (28-28) for the fifth time in the last two weeks. They've been unable to surpass the break-even mark since they were 5-4 on April 10.Justin Duchscherer (4-4) gave up two runs and six hits in six innings for Oakland, which has lost three straight. He struck out five and walked one.Carlos Gonzalez went 2-for-3 for the A's in his major league debut. Called up from Triple-A Sacramento earlier in the day, he doubled in the first inning, and his run-scoring double in the fifth tied it at 1."He doubled to left, doubled to right, just missed a homer, and he almost made a spectacular [defensive] play," Oakland manager Bob Geren said. "It was a very solid first game."Gonzalez had the ball from his first hit tucked away in his locker after the game."We didn't win, but I'm very excited about my debut," he said. "In the first, I was looking for a pitch to drive. It was outside and I went the other way. When I got to second, [Texas shortstop] Michael Young congratulated me. It's something I'll never forget."In the fourth, Boggs' bloop double to center off the glove of a diving Gonzalez produced the game's first run."I came close," Gonzalez said. "I thought I had a shot at it. Too bad."Boggs added an eighth-inning double into the right-field corner off Keith Foulke to push the Rangers' lead to 3-1.
Texas' Ian Kinsler extended his hitting streak to a career-high 14 games with a seventh-inning double. ... Young stretched his hitting streak to 15 games with a first-inning single. ... Bradley was available to pinch hit and Washington said Bradley would be in the lineup on Saturday night. ... Oakland's Mark Ellis broke an 0-for-13 slide with a first-inning double. ... The Rangers flipped their starters for the next two games, going with Sidney Ponson on Saturday night and Scott Feldman on Sunday.