Schilling to start Triple-A opener April 7
Schilling, slowed by his recovery from ankle surgery last November, has pitched in just one major league exhibition game and two minor league contests. He is expected to start the season on the disabled list and be activated to pitch in mid-April.
Boston's ace faced Indianapolis, Pittsburgh's Triple-A team, and allowed two runs, five hits and one walk while striking out seven. He threw 69 pitches, 54 of them strikes. From the second inning on, he gave up a single and a walk and struck out six.
"It kind of clicked for me, arm angle-wise," Schilling said. "I threw a ball and knew. It happens every spring at some point, where you make an adjustment and go, 'OK, that's what it was.' And it's always simple stuff.
"From that point on, I felt like I threw the ball much better, consistently."
Schilling is expected to pitch in a minor-league intrasquad game on Saturday, then start the season opener for Triple-A Pawtucket in Indianapolis on April 7 so he can increase the number of pitches he throws. His next start after that might be with Boston, which begins an eight-game homestand on April 11 against the Yankees.
"That's the plan right now, to be ready that first homestand," he said.
Tim Wakefield is scheduled to start the home opener on April 11 and, with no game the next day, Schilling could be in line to start April 13, although he and manager Terry Francona haven't specified a date.
Tuesday's outing was his first since he said he "pitched very poorly" against Minnesota last Friday, giving up three runs and five hits in 3 2/3 innings of a 5-1 loss. His only other exhibition outing came four days before that when he threw three innings in a game involving two squads of Boston minor leaguers.
While warming up before the second inning, he threw a fastball that he said felt right.
"One of the things I've been dealing with right now is my fastball and command and movement," Schilling said. "I rely on location."
Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press
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