Milacki survives HR, goes distance for Triple-A win

July 19, 1992|By Paul Sokoloski | Paul Sokoloski,Contributing Writer

ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- As boos bellowed from the Silver Stadium crowd yesterday, Bob Milacki thought of a familiar place.

"It didn't bother me," said Milacki, who gave up a second-inning homer in his first Triple-A start of the season to prompt such a reaction. "That's nothing compared to what they did in Baltimore."

But that similarity didn't last long. Milacki pitched seven solid innings to pick up the victory as the Rochester Red Wings defeated the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons, 5-2, in the first game of a double header.

Milacki, demoted from the Orioles on Wednesday, struck out one and walked one in his first start at Rochester since 1988. More importantly, he went the distance, as minor-league doubleheaders only last seven innings.

"It feels good to go seven innings," said Milacki, who failed to reach the fifth inning during five of his last six starts with the Orioles before being sent down. "The more I pitch, the more I'll get back on track."

Milacki, 27, needed only 82 pitches to polish off Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, the Triple-A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies. Milacki stayed ahead of hitters all game, as he threw 52 strikes and 30 balls.

"I'm satisfied I got to pitch seven innings," Milacki said. "I probably threw as many pitches in seven innings as I did in any of my last few starts."

He gave up five hits and two runs, with just one of those being earned.

However, Milacki had a couple of reasons to be displeased. First, there's the home run, which came off a fastball that Scranton's Steve Scarsone drove well over the left-field fence in the second inning.

"It's going to happen," said Milacki, who allowed five such early-inning homers during the last few weeks with Baltimore. "[The spectators] paid to watch the game and they could do what they want. It was a pretty good pitch. He [Scarsone] must have been looking for it."

Also, despite his high strike total, Milacki said he was a little disturbed that he came away with just the one strikeout.

"I couldn't put anyone away, and I had a lot of guys with two strikes," he said. "Then I'd leave the ball up or throw a breaking ball in the dirt."

But of the 21 hitters Milacki retired, only four of them hit the ball into the air. He also induced two double-play grounders.

"I was getting the ground ball, which I wasn't able to do in the major leagues," Milacki said.

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