By BRENDAN McGAIR
PAWTUCKET – In Chris Carpenter’s eyes, the fact that he’s rehabbing in Triple A following previous stops at the lower levels does not change the equation.
“Every time I go out there, I do so with the same mindset, which is attack the hitters,” said Carpenter following his PawSox debut Monday night, which consisted of one scoreless inning on 10 pitches, five for strikes. “I feel like I’ve done that at every level so far and was able to do it again (against the Chiefs).”
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 – a six-pitch sequence that came against the first hitter he faced – and was aided by a double play ball that ended the sixth inning.
“I’ll take those quick innings every time,” said Carpenter.
Forever linked to the fact he was the compensation the Chicago Cubs surrendered in exchange for Theo Epstein’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.
“It’s a tentative schedule,” said Carpenter. “Throwing in back-to-back games is part of the progression of getting healthy, but we’ll see how everything goes.”
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.
“He said he’s shave the scruffy stuff on his face once he reached 20,” 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 Pawtucket’s three-run uprising in the first inning while later adding a two-run shot that left McCoy Stadium in a hurry.
“The good thing about Mauro is that we’re getting a guy back who played up there, so it’s not like we’re getting someone back who sat for two weeks and now we have to get him going again,” said Beyeler, referencing the six games the player appeared in while Boston earlier this month. “He’s been playing up there and he’s sharp and ready to go.
“To get him back down here and in the middle of our lineup puts everyone else where they need to be,” said Beyeler about another benefit to having Gomez back in Pawtucket's fold.