Mariners-Rangers Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated May 27, 2012
Very little has shut down Texas' prolific offense, but the Seattle Mariners' Kevin Millwood, of all people, is one of the pitchers to have given the team problems. The AL West-leading Rangers look to carry some momentum from an amazing weekend into Monday night's series opener with the Mariners and Millwood, who shut down Texas for a second time last week. The Rangers (30-18) lead the majors with 276 runs, 73 homers, a .289 average and an .824 OPS, and they flexed their muscles in sweeping a weekend series from Toronto, combining for 34 runs, 10 homers and 44 hits while producing a 1.091 OPS. Nelson Cruz finished the series with two homers, two doubles and 10 RBIs, Adrian Beltre drove in five runs and Ian Kinsler had three doubles, four RBIs and five runs. "We have All-Stars,'' Ron Washington said after Sunday's 12-6 win. "The guys who hit behind (Josh) Hamilton are guys who can drive in runs.'' Despite boasting one of baseball's most potent lineups, the Rangers totaled seven runs and 16 hits in dropping two of three last Monday-Wednesday in Seattle, and Millwood (3-4, 4.72 ERA) was one of the pitchers to silence their bats. In the Mariners' 5-3 victory Wednesday, the 37-year-old gave up three hits - singles to Kinsler and Hamilton and a double to Beltre - and a walk over six shutout innings. This was the second time this season Texas struggled against Millwood, who held the Rangers to a run and four hits over six innings in a 4-3 comeback win April 11. "He's not much to figure out - he's always been fastball, curve, slider and changeup. But he's a veteran who knows how to pitch and has been doing it for a long time," left fielder David Murphy told the Mariners' official website. "He's had our number and he's in our division, so we're going to face him a lot and we have to make an adjustment." The Rangers aren't the only team having trouble against the 16-year veteran, who pitched for Texas from 2006-09. Prior to shutting down the Rangers, Millwood threw a two-hitter in a 4-0 win over Colorado on May 18. He has gone 17 straight innings without allowing a run - which trails only an 18-inning scoreless streak from Aug. 23-Sept. 3, 1999, for the longest of his career - and has given up just one run in his last 25 innings. "Confidence goes a long ways in this game and that's kind of what I'm working on right now,'' Millwood said. While the Rangers could have some problems scoring, runs could also be at a premium for Seattle (21-29), which has little offense to speak of and has historically had virtually no success against scheduled starter Matt Harrison (5-3, 4.72). At Safeco Field on Tuesday, the left-hander allowed a run and eight hits while matching a season best with six strikeouts in seven-plus innings of a 3-1 win. The victory marked Harrison's sixth in as many starts against the Mariners dating to May 1, 2010, and he is 7-0 with a 1.95 ERA in eight starts against them since 2009. None of this bodes well for a Seattle offense that ranks 10th in the AL in runs (185) and 13th in batting (.226). Since facing Texas last week, the Mariners combined for nine runs and 18 hits in being swept in a four-game series by the Los Angeles Angels. "We've got to do more offensively,'' manager Eric Wedge said. "It's hard to win up here if you have to be perfect out there on the mound.'' Ichiro Suzuki was 2 for 16 in the series, while leadoff hitter Dustin Ackley was 2 for 12. Ackley was hitless in four at-bats last week against Harrison, falling to 0 for 15 lifetime in their matchups.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Cam Newton explains why he did not dive on fumble

George Karl’s agent rips Kings, wants broadcaster reprimanded

WATCH: Popovich has funny reaction to New Hampshire results

Suns vets pull packing peanut prank on rookie Devin Booker

Teammate gives Manning final completion ball from Super Bowl

Report: Ole Miss Football cited in 13 of 28 department violations by NCAA

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Larry Sanders to consider NBA comeback after other interests stabilize

The NCAAB power rankings

SEC begins crying foul over Jim Harbaugh’s spring break plans at Michigan

Marc Gasol reportedly out indefinitely with broken foot

Patriots waive Montee Ball despite never officially re-signing running back

Chicago White Sox: Impact of Mat Latos signing

Clemson LB has great response to NFL draft analyst's criticism

Former Aggies QB Kyle Allen reveals culture problems at Texas A&M

WATCH: Roy Williams collapses during game vs. BC

Panthers TE Greg Olsen shaves off his playoff beard

Derek Fisher thanks Knicks in statement

Miami Heat to honor Shaq by retiring his number 32

Oakland Raiders release Nate Allen

B.J. Penn announces he will return at UFC 197

Bring back the Dunk Contest

Michael Jordan’s rep comments on the crying meme

10 NBA teams that could be active at the trade deadline

‘The X-Files’ takes a shot at the Philadelphia 76ers

Ranking the top 50 NFL players slated to become free agents

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The NCAAB power rankings

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

Curry to serve as drummer for Panthers

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker