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March 31, 2012 at 8:46 PM

Kevin Millwood sharp in seven-inning stint

While his groggy Mariners teammates took the night off to continue their recovery from the trip to Japan, Kevin Millwood looked like a guy at full strength. Millwood, who didn’t go to Japan, worked seven impressive innings Saturday night against the Padres in the Mariners’ 6-1 victory at the Peoria Sports Complex.
Millwood gave up five hits (one of them a homer to Andy Parrino for San Diego’s only run), walked two and struck out eight. He threw 97 pitches (59 strikes).


“It felt good to be able to go seven and throw that many pitches and still feel like I had something left,” Millwood said. “My curve is not where I want, but it’s getting there.”
Millwood was impressed with the lineup behind him, which consisted of Double-A and Single-A minor leaguers.
“I was the only one with my name on my jersey,” he joked. “But I’ll tell you what — they played hard and made a lot of good plays and swung the bat. It was fun to watch.”
Rich Poythress, who drove in 130 runs two years ago at High Desert, had three hits, while Daniel Carroll and 21-year-old John Hicks hit home runs.
“They came ready to play,” manager Eric Wedge said of his young players, all of whom he made a point of shaking hands with and thanking after the game. “They played very good baseball offensively, defensively and running the bases. They played with a lot of energy. This was a great opportunity for them.”
Of Millwood, Wedge said, “He was outstanding. He did a great job of mixing speeds. He was about as consistent you can be all night.”
Millwood will join Felix Hernandez, Jason Vargas, Hector Noesi and Blake Beavan in the Mariners’ starting rotation. Wedge said he and pitching coach Carl Willis are still working on setting the pitching order to start the season, though Felix Hernandez will obviously work the first game back against Oakland.
The Mariners will also have to re-set their roster when they resume the season against the A’s next Friday.
“We have a couple of roster decisions to make, obviously, because we have to add Millwood, Noesi and (Hasashi) Iwakuma to our 25-man,” Wedge said.

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