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March 8, 2012 at 2:02 PM

Kevin Millwood set to make first start for Mariners at Chicago Cubs

Two unearned runs for Chicago cut Seattle’s lead to 5-3 heading to the seventh inning. The first came on a Tom Wilhelmsen strikeout on a low pitch. The ball bounced in front of the plate where Wilhelmsen picked it up and threw the ball away at first base for the rare strikeout/E1 call. One out later, back-to-back singles, the latter by Matt Tolbert, brought the first run home.
Then, a throwing error by shortstop Munenori Kawasaki, who bounced a throw to first base, scored the second run.
1:44 p.m.: Seattle scored again in the sixth inning as Miguel Olivo singled for the second time today, stole second and came home on Carlos Peguero’s single to left. So, make it 5-1 for the Mariners. Tom Wilhelmsen pitched a perfect fifth inning for Seattle and is back out there for the bottom of the sixth.
1:29 p.m.: Big fifth inning by the Mariners, who scored four times off Cubs closer Carlos Marmol to take a 4-1 lead. The big blast was a three-run shot over the right field wall by Dustin Ackley. It was a no-doubter the right fielder took two steps on and then stopped to watch clear the wall.
Miguel Olivo led off with a single, took second when Casper Wells was hit by a pitch and then scored when Munenori Kawasaki singled to left field. Ackley came up next and put Seattle on top.
Down in the clubhouse, Kevin Millwood said he found something in that lightning-quick 1-2-3 third inning. He told me he wants to induce quick contact like that and get through innings quicker. Good day for him.
1:10 p.m.: Still 1-0 for the Cubs as we head to the fifth inning. Brandon League gave up a Jeff Baker double and a wild pitch in the fourth inning, but escaped unscathed on a deep flyout to right field by Wellington Castillo.
Kevin Millwood needed just three pitches to get out of his third and final inning of play. He gave up just the one run on the Alfonso Soriano homer.
Some highlights from today’s “B” gave in which Seattle beat Colorado 7-3 included another strong Hector Noesi outing in which he allowed a run on two hits over three innings. Trayvon Robinson hit a two-run homer while Steve Delabar struck out all three batters he faced. John Jaso started the game at first base and went 2-for-3 with a double.

VIDEO: Watch our live webcast from earlier this morning as we drove from Peoria, Ariz. down here to Mesa, Ariz. for the game and took questions on Twitter.
A reminder to stick here for updates, as well as to follow my Twitter account @gbakermariners.

12:36 p.m.: Kevin Milwood yielded a solo home run to Alfonso Soriano to lead off the second inning, then a pair of singles with one out. But he rebounded for his third strikeout of the day — this one on Wellington Castro — and got David DeJesus to pop out. So, the Cubs lead 1-0 after two innings. Seattle still looking for its first baserunner.
12:20 p.m.: We’re scoreless after an inning of play. Kevin Millwood got a called strikeout on David DeJesus, then stuck out his glove to snag a Marlon Byrd line drive before allowing a two-out single to center by Starlin Castro. Ian Stewart grounded out to end the inning.
12:00 p.m.: This will be one of the handful of opportunities Kevin Millwood will get this spring to show that he belongs in the Mariners’ starting rotation. At age 36, he thought his career might be done last season before getting in some late games with the Rockies.
But the time for him to step up is coming. The Mariners have had some good spring outings so far from Felix Hernandez, Jason Vargas, Hector Noesi and Blake Beavan. They need to see some more from Millwood and Hisashi Iwakuma.
The lineups:
2B Dustin Ackley
CF Michael Saunders
DH Jesus Montero
1B Justin Smoak
3B Kyle Seager
C Miguel Olivo
RF Carlos Peguero
LF Casper Wells
SS Munenori Kawasaki
RHP Kevin Millwood
RF David DeJesus
CF Marlon Byrd
SS Starlin Castro
3B Ian Stewart
LF Alfonso Soriano
1B Anthony Rizzo
2B Jeff Baker
DH Reed Johnson
C Wellington Castillo
RHP Chris Volstad

Comments | Topics: Hisashi Iwakuma, Jesus Montero


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