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Schilling gets hit hard in rehab start

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Updated: July 5, 2005, 12:22 AM ET

Schilling knocked around for five runs in five inningsAssociated Press

PAWTUCKET, R.I. -- The Boston Red Sox waited 86 years for the World Series title that Curt Schilling helped deliver last fall.

Now they might have to wait a little longer for Schilling to come back and try it again.

AP Photo

Curt Schilling's shaky outing Monday may alter the starter's schedule to come back.

The right-hander struggled Monday night in what was supposed to be his final rehab outing before returning to the big league rotation, allowing five runs and eight hits in five innings for Boston's Triple-A team in Pawtucket. He was scheduled to fly to Texas to join the Red Sox after the game and meet with team management Tuesday to debate his next step.

"When I come back, I don't want it to be a baby-sitting thing," Schilling said, noting that Boston is in first place without him. "I don't want to come back to pitch. I want to come back to be myself."

Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein did not immediately return a call seeking comment on Schilling's schedule. But Schilling's performance in Pawtucket's 9-2 loss to the Charlotte Knights could make the team rethink plans for him to return against the Orioles in Baltimore on Saturday.

That could push him back to the series against the New York Yankees at Fenway Park after the All-Star break.

"We'll meet tomorrow and go from there," Schilling said after allowing five runs on eight hits and two walks while striking out eight in five innings. "I didn't pitch well. I did a lot of things wrong today. It's frustrating.

"There's two options: I can quit or move on, and I'm not quitting."

Schilling, who took the loss, is 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA in two starts on this rehab stint with Pawtucket.

One of the heroes of Boston's 2004 championship, the erstwhile Red Sox ace made just three starts before bruising his right ankle on April 23 and going on the disabled list. In a previous rehab outing last Wednesday, Schilling threw 78 pitches and allowed a run on five hits and a walk, striking out three for the PawSox against the Knights in Fort Mill, S.C.

On Monday, Schilling left after 93 pitches to a standing ovation from the sold-out crowd of 11,629 -- the second-largest in franchise history. He tipped his PawSox cap and threw it to a young boy in the front row before shaking hands with Pawtucket manager Ron Johnson.

Schilling hit 96 on the ballpark radar gun -- though even he doubted that was accurate -- and showed no signs of trouble with his ankle when he was pitching. But he didn't seem especially agile while backing up his catcher during Charlotte's three-run second inning.

He gave up a deep but harmless double in the first inning, then hurt himself in the second when he walked consecutive batters with one out. Felix Martinez lined a double over first base to score one run, and a second run scored when the relay from second baseman Luis Figueroa bounced past the catcher and away from Schilling, who was backing up the play.

Schilling lumbered after the ball, turned and made a bad throw back to the plate for another error that allowed Martinez to score.

"Rehab or not, that's the kind of thing that can't happen," Schilling said.

Jonathan Aceves struck out, then Ross Gload doubled before Schilling struck out Wilton Guerrero looking to end the inning.

The PawSox got a reliever up in the fourth inning after Schilling allowed a two-run homer to Guerrero that made it 5-0. But Schilling finished the fourth and struck out the last two batters in the fifth before calling it an evening; after he left, many of the fans did likewise.

Schilling injured a tendon in his ankle near the end of the 2004 regular season and struggled in Game 1 of the AL Championship Series against New York. After testing an unprecedented procedure on a cadaver, the team doctor made a wall of stitches in Schilling's ankle to keep the tendon in place.

With blood seeping through his sock, Schilling beat the Yankees in Game 6, catapulting the Red Sox to an improbable comeback. The procedure was repeated before Game 2 of the World Series to help Boston sweep St. Louis in four games for its first championship since 1918.

He had offseason surgery and wasn't ready for Opening Day, then made three starts for a 1-2 record and 8.15 ERA before going on the DL.

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