BY SPNW Staff 07:14AM 04/11/2012

#7: Millwood Charged With Halting 2-Game Slide

Neftali Feliz outdueled native Texan Blake Beavan of the Mariners Tuesday night as the Texas Rangers won a rare 1-0 pitchers’ duel at the Ballpark in Arlington.

Ron Washington's Texas Rangers, the two-time defending American League champions, have taken the first two games of their four-game series with the Mariners. / Wiki Commons

GAME: Mariners (3-3, 2nd AL West, 1.5 GB) at Rangers (4-1, 1st AL West, 1.5 GA). GAME #: 7. SERIES: 3rd of 4 games. MEETING (2012): 3rd (Rangers lead 2-0). WHEN: Wednesday, 5:05 p.m, PT, Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. PROBABLE PITCHERS: RHP Kevin Millwood (Seattle, 4-3, 3.98) vs. RHP Colby Lewis (Texas, 1-0, 3.00). STREAKS: Mariners L 2; Rangers W 2. TV: ROOT Sports, MLB TV. RADIO: KIRO 710 (Seattle), Mariners Radio Network.

Having lost a slugfest Monday (11-5) and a pitcher’s duel (1-0) Tuesday, the Mariners will try to snap their first losing streak (two games) of the season Wednesday when they send No. 5 starter Kevin Millwood into the Arlington Stadium breach to face the Texas Rangers in the third game of a four-game series.

Millwood will be opposed by RHP Colby Lewis, who went 2-1, 3.63 against the Mariners in 2011.

The Mariners and Rangers will play a matinee Thursday, giving Seattle plenty of time to return to Seattle for Friday night’s home season opener, against the Oakland Athletics. A closer look at Wednesday’s starters:

MARINERS: RHP Kevin Millwood (4-3, 3.98 ERA, 1.320 WHIP)

Kevin Millwood

The 37-year-old Millwood, in his 16th major league season and first with the Mariners, is making his first start of the season and the fourth of his career against the Rangers, one of his former teams.

A native of Gastonia, NC., the 6-4, 230-pound Millwood was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 11th round of the 1993 amateur draft.

Millwood made his major league debut July 14, 1997, collecting a win in relief for the Braves against the Philadelphia Phillies. During his career, Millwood pitched for the Braves (1997-02), Philadelphia (2003-04), Cleveland (2005), Texas (2006-09), Baltimore (2010) and Colorado (2011).

Millwood has twice won 18 games in a season, going 18-7 for the 1999 Braves and 18-8 for the 2002 Braves. Millwood led the National League in starts with 35 in 2000, led the NL in shutouts in 2003 with three, led the American League in ERA in 2005 at 2.86, and the AL in losses in 2010 with 16.

Millwood represented Atlanta in the 1999 All-Star Game.

During his American League career, Millwood made 24 starts against the Mariners, posting an 8-13 record with a 4.91 ERA.

Millwood signed with the Mariners Jan. 24 as a free agent, and earned the fifth spot in the rotation with a strong performance during spring training.

Millwood has a career record of 163-140, 4.10 ERA.

  • 2011: Started the season with Boston, but did not pitch and was released May 19; signed by Colorado Aug. 8, after which he made nine starts, working 54.1 innings; had a 4-3 record with a 3.98 ERA.
  • LAST START: Defeated the Houston Astros 19-3 Sept. 25 in a game in which the Colorado Rockies banged out 25 hits; worked 7 innings, allowing one run on three hits while throwing 96 pitches, including 55 for strikes; had six strikeouts and one walk.
  • LAST VS. RANGERS: Pitching for the Orioles Aug. 22, 2010, allowed six earned runs over 6 innings and was the losing pitcher in a 6-4 Texas win; loss was 14th of the season, and Millwood would go on to lose 16 to lead the American League.
  • CAREER VS. RANGERS: Millwood has pitched in three games against his former employer, going 0-2 with a 4.95 ERA in 20.0 innings; dinged for four home runs.
  • AT RANGERS BALLPARK: 61 starts with a record of 28-17 and a 4.56 ERA in 365.1 IP; strikes out 6.1 per 9 and has surrendered 117 home runs in the ballpark.
  • LOVES TO FACE: Mitch Moreland (0-for-3, .000 BA), David Murphy (0-for-3, .000 BA), Alberto Gonzalez (0-for-2, .000 BA).
  • HATES TO FACE: Josh Hamilton (2-for-4, .500 BA, 1 HR, 3 RBIs), Mike Napoli (6-for-16, .375 BA, 4 2Bs, 1 HR, 4 BB), Michael Young (3-for-9, .333 BA, 2 RBIs).
  • CURRENT RANGERS VS. MILLWOOD: 35-for-121, .289 BA, 6 HR, 6 BB, .819 OPS.

RANGERS: RHP Colby Lewis (1-0, 3.00 ERA, 1.33 WHIP)

Colby Lewis

The 32-year-old Lewis, in his ninth major league season and sixth the Rangers, is making his second start of the season and the 14th of his career against the Mariners.

A native of Bakersfield, CA., the 6-4, 230-pound Lewis was drafted by the Rangers in the first round (38th pick) of the 1999 amateur draft.

Lewis made his MLB debut April 1, 2002, working 1.1 innings of relief in an 8-3 Texas loss to Oakland.  He spent his first three seasons (2002-05) with the Rangers, then was selected off waivers by Detroit. Lewis pitched for the Tigers in 2006 and for Oakland in 2007. Lewis returned to the Rangers in 2010.

Lewis produced his best record in 2011, going 14-10 with a 4.40 ERA. Lewis reached double figures in wins three times during his career.

Lewis made one appearance on an American League leaderboard, leading the league in home runs allowed with 35 in 2011.

A reliever for a good part of his early career, Lewis has made 65 starts over the past three seasons. He will bring a career record of 39-38, 4.97 ERA into Wednesday’s game.

  • 2011: 32 starts; a 14-10 record with a 4.40 ERA and 1.213 WHIP; worked 200.1 innings and threw two complete games, averaging 7.7 K’s and 2.5 BB’s per 9.
  • LAST START: Defeated the Chicago White Sox April 6 3-2 at home. Allowed two earned runs on seven hits over 6 IP; fanned nine, walked one and threw 70 strikes among his 100 pitches; allowed one home run.
  • LAST VS. MARINERS: Defeated the Mariners 7-6 at Safeco Field Sept. 17 despite giving up six earned runs on eight hits over 5.2 IP; faced 26 batters, fanned seven, walked one and allowed one home run (Mike Carp); had trouble with the top of the Seattle order as Ichiro (2-for-4, 2 RBIs) and Kyle Seager (2-for-4, 2 RBIs) combined for four hits, four RBIs and two runs scored (went 2-1, 3.63 ERA vs. Seattle in 2011; had 26 strikeouts and four walks in 22.1 IP).
  • CAREER VS. MARINERS: Has appeared in 17 games, 13 starts; 6-4 record and a 3.70 ERA; fanned 81 of the 394 batters he’s faced and walked 34; allowed five home runs in 92.1 IP.
  • AT RANGERS BALLPARK: 19-14 record and a 5.22 ERA  in 55 games, including 46 starts. Prone to allowing the home run; given up 46 long balls and also issued 115 walks.
  • LOVES TO FACE: Miguel Olivo (0-for-14, .000 BA, 6 K’s), Michael Saunders (0-for-7, .000 BA, 4 K’s), Dustin Ackley (1-for-6, .167 BA, 1K).
  • HATES TO FACE: Justin Smoak (3-for-4, .750 BA, 1 HR, 2B), Ichiro (18-for-48, .375 BA, 5 RBIs, 2 BB), Chone Figgins (5-for-16, .313 BA, 5 BBs), Brendan Ryan (3-for-9, .333 BA).
  • CURRENT MARINERS VS. LEWIS: 41 for 149, .275 BA, 4 HRs, 16 RBIs).

LAST GAME

Rangers 1, Mariners 0

AT ARLINGTON, TX. (April 10): Pitching for the first time since blowing Game 6 of the World Series, Neftali Feliz continued his mastery of the Mariners, outdueling native Texan Blake Beaven, making his first start of the year for Seattle. The win marked the first for Feliz, a former closer, as a starting pitcher.

“It’s a dream come true for me,” Feliz said. “I was hoping for the moment to become a starter in the major leagues and finally it happened. And I thank the Rangers for making that happen. And here I am.”

The Mariners went 0-for-11 against Feliz, running the current roster’s string of career feebleness against Feliz to 0-for-39, before Justin Smoak singled in the fourth inning.

The Mariners, who entered the game 0-for-28 against Feliz, managed four hits off him in seven innings, including two by Smoak and two by Jesus Montero.

David Murphy had three of the seven Rangers hits and drove in the only run of the game with an infield single in the second inning.

Beavan threw a superb game, allowing six hits in 6.1 innings. He faced 26 batters and threw first-pitch strikes to 18. He also pitched out of trouble in the fifth and sixth. The Dallas-area high school product left with runners at first and second, but Tom Wilhelmsen escaped the jam.

“You don’t see too many 1-0 ballgames in this park,” said Seattle manager Eric Wedge. “Both pitchers were outstanding.”

AL WEST STANDINGS

Team W L Pct. GB Home Road Last 10 Streak
Rangers 4 1 .800 4-1 0-0 4-1 Won 3
Mariners 3 3 .500 1.5 0-0 3-3 3-3 Lost 2
Angels 2 2 .500 1.5 1-2 1-0 2-2 Won 1
Athletics 2 4 .333 2.5 2-4 0-0 2-4 Lost 1

MARINERS / STATS NOTES

  • The Mariners Wednesday activated C Adam Moore from the 15-day disabled list and optioned him back to AAA Tacoma.The Mariners placed Moore on the 15-day disabled list with a fracture in the third metacarpal in his right wrist March 28 (retroactive to March 24). He began a rehabilitation assignment at AAA Tacoma April 5. In five games with Tacoma, Moore is hitting .267 (4-for-15) with 2 runs scored, 1 home run and 4 RBI.
  • Seattle manager Eric Wedge benched shortstop Brendan Ryan Tuesday, saying it was an issue of “accountability.” Ryan had an errant throw on a double-play ball Monday that sparked the Texas rally that bailed out Yu Darvish in his MLB debut.
  • Jesus Montero returned to the Seattle lineup Tuesday after missing Monday’s game with a stomach ailment. He had two of Seattle’s four hits.
  • The Mariners went 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position and left five men stranded.
  • Former Mariner third baseman Adrian Beltre of the Rangers went 4-for-9 with two runs scored in the first two games of the series.
  • Due to the 11 runs surrendered Monday and the lone run ceded Tuesday, the Mariners have now been outscored through six games, 27-24.
  • According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Darvish became the first pitcher in more than 100 years to win his major league debut after allowing at least four runs in the first inning. Darvish defeated the Mariners Monday.
  • The 7.0-inning outing by Neftali Feliz marked his longest outing as a professional. His previous high: 6.2 for Class A Clinton in 2008
  • The Mariners bullpen allowed six HRs in season’s first five games. In 2011, M’s bullpen led the AL for fewest HR allowed (32).
  • When the Mariners batted around Saturday-Monday, it marked the first time since Aug. 18-19, 2007 that they had batted around in consecutive games. Mariners have not batted around in three consecutive games since April 13-16, 2002.
  • Erasmo Ramirez made MLB debut Monday, relieving Hector Noesi. Ramirez allowed one run, Josh Hamilton’s homer in the fourth inning (youngest Seattle pitcher at the time of debut since Ryan Feierabend, 21.022 on 9/13/06).
  • Rangers and Mariners met 19 times in 2011, Texas taking 15 and outscoring Seattle 95-53.
  • RHP Felix Hernandez celebrated his 26th birthday Sunday. Counting Saturday’s start at Oakland, Hernandez made 207 starts before turning age 26.
  • Jesus Montero has started five games at DH. The franchise record for starts by a rookie DH is 52, set by Juan Bernhardt in the Mariners inaugural year, 1977.
  • 18 of the Mariners first 27 games 2012 are the road (and 28 of first 43). The Mariners will have logged eight road games before playing at Safeco Field.
  • According to Stats Inc., the Mariners had an average age of 28.33 when the Opening Day rosters were set, the second-youngest American League roster and the fourth-youngest in the majors.
  • The Mariners roster features 7 rookies: RHP Steve Delabar, RHP Hisashi Iwakuma, LHP Lucas Luetge, RHP Erasmo Ramirez, C/ DH Jesus Montero, INF Alex Liddi & INF Munenori Kawasaki. Last season the Mariners used 18 rookies, and had a club-record 12 players make their MLB debuts.
  • According to The Associated Press, the Mariners have the 18th-highest payroll in the majors, at just under $82 million. That’s down from $94 million in 2011. Of the $82 million, Felix Hernandez, Ichiro, Chone Figgins, Franklin Gutierrez and Brandon League take up slightly more than $58 million of that total (the Yankees have baseball’s top payroll for the 14th consecutive year, $198 million).
  • LHP Lucas Luetge made his MLB debut Saturday night at Oakland, striking out the only batter he faced on three pitches (Josh Reddick). According to STATS Inc, Lucas is the second Mariner going back to 1997 (when pitch-by-pitch data became readily available) to strike out the first batter faced in a MLB career on just three pitches. Michael Pineda struck out Ian Kinsler last season (4/5/11) in his MLB debut. Records also show that he is just the fourth pitcher since 1997 to record a strikeout on 3 pitches to the only batter faced in a debut.
  • Through six games, the Mariners are 14-for-42 (.333) with runners in scoring position.

MARINERS WON-LOSS BREAKDOWN

Rec. Home Road Day Night vs. RHP vs. LHP Hit HR No HR
3-3 0-0 3-3 0-0 3-3 3-3 0-0 2-1 1-2

MARINERS BATTING PROFILE

Avg. Home Road R HR OBP SLG OPS RISP
.251 .000 .251 24 3 .292 .341 .633 .333

MARINERS PITCHING PROFILE

Rec. ERA IP R ER HR BA OBP SLG
3-3 4.58 53.0 27 27 10 .243 .290 .427

PROBABLE PITCHERS

Date Day Opp. Probable Pitchers
4/11 Wed at Tex Millwood (0-0) vs. Lewis (0-0, 0.00)
4/12 Thr at Tex Vargas (0-0, 1.42) vs. Holland (0-0, 0.00)
4/13 Fri vs. Oak Hernandez (1-0, 1.42) vs. Colon (1-1, 0.00)
4/14 Sat vs. Oak Noesi (0-0, 1.42) vs. Milone (0-0, 0.00)

MARINERS 2012 SCHEDULE/RESULTS

March

Gm.# Date Opp. W/L Rec. Win / Loss
1 3/28 at Oak W, 3-1 1-0 W: Wilhelmsen (1-0); L: Carignan (0-1)
2 3/29 at Oak L, 4-1 1-1 W: Colon (1-0); L: Kelley (0-1)

April

Gm. # Date Opp. W/L Rec. Win / Loss
3 4/6 at Oak W, 7-3 2-1 W: Vargas (1-0); L: McCarthy (0-1)
4 4/7 at Oak W, 8-7 3-1 W: Hernandez (1-0); L: Colon (1-1)
5 4/9 at Tex L, 11-5 3-2 W: Darvish (1-0); L: Noesi (0-1)
6 4/10 at Tex L, 1-0 3-3 W: Feliz (1-0); L: Beavan (0-1)
7 4/11 at Tex
8 4/12 at Tex
9 4/13 vs OaK
10 4/14 vs. Oak
11 4/15 vs. Oak
12 4/17 vs. Cle
13 4/18 vs. Cle
14 4/19 vs. Cle
15 4/20 vs. CWS
16 4/21 vs. CWS
17 4/22 vs. CWS
18 4/24 at Det
19 4/25 at Det
20 4/26 at Det
21 4/27 at Tor
22 4/28 at Tor
23 4/29 at Tor
24 4/30 at TB

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