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By BRENDAN McGAIR
PAWTUCKET â€“ In Chris Carpenterâ€™s eyes, the fact that heâ€™s rehabbing in Triple A following previous stops at the lower levels does not change the equation.
â€śEvery time I go out there, I do so with the same mindset, which is attack the hitters,â€ť said Carpenter following his PawSox debut Monday night, which consisted of one scoreless inning on 10 pitches, five for strikes. â€śI feel like Iâ€™ve done that at every level so far and was able to do it again (against the Chiefs).â€ť
Monday saw Carpenter make his sixth rehab appearance out of the bullpen after making the rounds with the Gulf Coast Sox, Greenville and Portland. His velocity resided in the 92-94 mph range as he walked one â€“ a six-pitch sequence that came against the first hitter he faced â€“ and was aided by a double play ball that ended the sixth inning.
â€śIâ€™ll take those quick innings every time,â€ť said Carpenter.
Forever linked to the fact he was the compensation the Chicago Cubs surrendered in exchange for Theo Epsteinâ€™s services, Carpenter was shut down for just about the entire first half after undergoing surgery to repair bone spurs on his elbow. The 26-year-old has not worked consecutive days since his comeback began, but Carpenter believes that could take place as quickly as Tuesday night.
â€śItâ€™s a tentative schedule,â€ť said Carpenter. â€śThrowing in back-to-back games is part of the progression of getting healthy, but weâ€™ll see how everything goes.â€ť
Thanks to belting his team-leading 20th home run Monday night, Mauro Gomez can make good on a promise the slugger made to PawSox manager Arnie Beyeler.
â€śHe said heâ€™s shave the scruffy stuff on his face once he reached 20,â€ť said Beyeler with a smile.
All kidding aside, Gomez wasted little time feeling right at home in his return to the PawSox. Playing in his first game with the Triple-A ballclub since July 2, the 28-year-old bruiser went 3-for-4 with two RBI while extending his PawSox hitting streak to 11 games. He stroked a run-scoring double as part of Pawtucketâ€™s three-run uprising in the first inning while later adding a two-run shot that left McCoy Stadium in a hurry.
â€śThe good thing about Mauro is that weâ€™re getting a guy back who played up there, so itâ€™s not like weâ€™re getting someone back who sat for two weeks and now we have to get him going again,â€ť said Beyeler, referencing the six games the player appeared in while Boston earlier this month. â€śHeâ€™s been playing up there and heâ€™s sharp and ready to go.
â€śTo get him back down here and in the middle of our lineup puts everyone else where they need to be,â€ť said Beyeler about another benefit to having Gomez back in Pawtucket's fold.