Millwood throws four innings; Rupe leaves camp

Updated: March 13, 2006, 7:42 PM ET
Associated Press

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Kevin Millwood faced opposing hitters for the first time Monday, allowing one run in four innings for the Texas Rangers in a "B'' game against Seattle on a back practice field.

Starting Pitcher
Texas Rangers

30 9 11 52 146 2.86

Right-hander Josh Rupe, however, was sent back to Arlington on Monday after feeling soreness in his pitching elbow.

Millwood threw 58 pitches, 39 for strikes, in a 6-4 Rangers victory. He allowed three hits and struck out four facing mostly minor league and nonroster players. He previous pitched in two simulated games.

"Facing batters who are swinging the bat gave me a chance to see whether I'm being deceptive with my pitches,'' Millwood said. "I thought I was with my changeup. My fastball felt good, too.

"The best thing was having an umpire behind the plate for the first time. It gave me a better read about what I'm doing instead of having coaches tell me my pitches look good.''

Millwood, the AL ERA champion last season with Cleveland, signed a $60 million, five-year deal with Texas in December. He will start on Opening Day April 3 against Boston.

Seattle left-hander Jamie Moyer gave up five runs (four earned) on seven hits in four innings against a Rangers' lineup filled with regulars.

Phil Nevin continued his hot spring hitting for the Rangers, going 1-for-2 with a home run. Ian Kinsler went 2-for-2 with a stolen base.

Cody Ransom led the Mariners, going 3-for-4 with a double. Wladimir Balentien was 2-for-2 with a solo home run and two RBI.

Rupe pitched 3 1/3 innings Sunday against Seattle. He is expected to have an MRI exam on Tuesday.

"His velocity was down yesterday, but he didn't tell us anything was wrong until this morning, when he reported elbow soreness,'' manager Buck Showalter said. "Don't count Josh out yet. Hopefully, in a few days he'll be back with the club and this will all be over.''

Rupe is trying to become the No. 5 starter in a rotation with Kevin Millwood, Adam Eaton, Vicente Padilla and Kameron Loe. Rupe is 0-0 with a 4.32 ERA in three spring training starts after going 1-0 with a 2/79 ERA in four games with the Rangers at the end of last season.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press