Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 5/23/12

The Seattle Mariners are a long way from first place; indeed, they are a long way from even being in contention in the American League West.

However, if Seattle continues to get the kind of starting pitching it's seen in the last week, the Mariners are going to cause lots of teams trouble.

Led by veteran Kevin Millwood, the Mariners starters have gone 5-2 in their last seven games with a 1.82 ERA, allowing 10 earned runs in 49 1/3 innings. In that stretch, they've thrown seven innings or more four times and eight innings three times.

And during the seven games, Seattle starters have allowed just a .176 batting average (31-for-176).

Along the way, the Mariners have moved from 8 1/2 games back of division-leading Texas to 6 1/2 games back entering a four-game weekend series against the Los Angeles Angels in Safeco Field.

Millwood began the season 0-4 with a 5.88 ERA, but in his last three starts, he's allowed just one run in 22 innings for an 0.41 ERA.

He's thrown 17 consecutive scoreless innings since giving up one run in a six-inning, one-run effort at Yankee Stadium. Millwood threw six shutout innings Wednesday in a 5-3 win over the Rangers.

"Kevin's been fantastic," manager Eric Wedge said. "Obviously he was pitching today to a good lineup, and he handled them well."

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