ARLINGTON, Texas -- Kevin Millwood pitched like he has all season for the Texas Rangers. Now the hitters are suddenly starting to resemble their old selves again.
David Murphy and Hank Blalock homered while Millwood won his fifth straight decision at home in a 12-2 victory over the San Diego Padres on Friday night."It's fun to watch when they're swinging the bats well," Millwood said.And it makes it easier for Millwood on a 100-degree night when he was scuffling a bit, at least by the standard the right-hander has set this season.Millwood (8-5) gave up a leadoff homer to Tony Gwynn Jr. and threw 68 pitches through the first three innings. But he made it through six innings, allowing two runs over 113 pitches."Early in the game, my mechanics were a little off. I just wasn't throwing the ball where I wanted to enough, and it just added up," Millwood said. "My stuff tonight was probably the worst I've had all year. ... It feels good to battle through it."In his five June starts, Millwood was 4-1 with a 1.30 ERA.Millwood's only loss at home was April 18, a 2-0 complete game against Kansas City and Zack Greinke. The right-hander is 6-1 with a 2.17 ERA in nine home starts, allowing more than three runs only once."He's just a leader, and to go out there and lead the pitching staff like that, it takes the pressure off the offense," Murphy said.Murphy's three-run homer, a towering shot into the second deck in right field, put Texas up 6-1 against Walter Silva (0-1), who gave up nine runs in 2 1/3 innings.Before winning 9-8 in 12 innings at Arizona on Thursday night, when Murphy's solo homer was the difference, the AL West-leading Rangers had scored two runs or less in four consecutive games. They had gone 21 straight games without scoring more than six runs, their longest such streak since 1990.Blalock homered leading off the fourth for a 10-1 lead.Rangers rookie shortstop Elvis Andrus had four hits, including a bunt single and an RBI triple.Silva walked four and gave up seven hits. The 32-year-old right-hander made his fourth major league start for a depleted Padres staff that has six right-handed pitchers on the disabled list, including starters Chris Young and Jake Peavy."We'll keep going out there with the five best [starters] in the organization at any given time," manager Bud Black said. "Since April, there's been a little changeover."The Padres are 10-26 on the road. They are 3-10 in interleague games this season after losing their last eight games against AL teams last year.Gwynn's homer was the first in his 161 career games, 31 with the Padres.But his error in the bottom of the first helped Texas go ahead to stay.After Ian Kinsler had a leadoff double, Murphy's liner to right ricocheted off Gwynn's glove for a two-base error that sent Kinsler home. Murphy scored on Blalock's sacrifice fly for a 2-1 lead."We were up 1-0 and it felt good. But then the ball took a funny tail on me in the bottom of the inning and it was no longer good anymore," Gwynn said. "It was just a homer that didn't mean anything. As the game went on, it became less and less meaningful, and by the end it didn't mean anything."Gwynn made a spectacular play against Murphy in the seventh with a sliding catch in foul territory. After scrambling to his feet, Gwynn doubled off Andrus at second base.
Adrian Gonzalez, traded from Texas to San Diego with Young three years ago, walked twice, increasing his majors-high total to 61. He has 30 walks in June. ... Gwynn's homer came 12 years to the day after his father, Tony Gwynn, hit an inside-the-park grand slam for the Padres. ... Black said Young (strained right shoulder) is on schedule to return to the rotation after the All-Star break and Peavy (strained right ankle tendon) will be medically evaluated Tuesday. ... RF Will Venable was a late scratch for San Diego because of a sore left wrist sustained in batting practice. ... Rangers CF Josh Hamilton, recovering from abdominal surgery, ran the bases before the game.