"That's the old Millwood, bend but don't break," Washington said. "It's nice to see him get that rush going. He found out he still has it. From there, he kept on working. It wasn't the best conditions -- it was warm -- but he kept on working."The second pivotal moment came in the bottom of the third. The Rangers were up, 4-1, after a double by Frank Catalanotto and a single by Adam Melhuse. But Millwood gave up a single to Griffey and the first of two home runs to Adam Dunn. That made it 4-3, then Millwood put the tying run in scoring position when Encarnacion singled and went to second on a wild pitch. But Millwood's afternoon changed dramatically at that point. He kept Encarnacion from scoring by retiring the next three hitters, and he only got stronger the rest of the way. "I definitely wanted to hold on to the lead," he said. "I'm a firm believer that the biggest inning of the game is that half-inning after your team scores. That's when you need to shut the other team down. Not giving up the extra runs was not only huge for me, but big for the psyche of the whole team." The Rangers responded to their starter's grit by scoring in each of the next three innings, and added four runs in the top of the ninth. Melhuse had three hits in his second start at catcher, and Byrd hit a home run in addition to his two-run double off the top of the center-field wall in the first inning. "I told [Byrd that] if he hadn't been working so hard on days he was playing, he would have been strong enough to hit that ball out," Washington said. "Then he hit that second one out over the center-field fence, came back to the dugout and said, 'What do you think about that?' " The manager liked it. But most of all, he liked what he saw on the mound from a guy who is supposed to be their No. 1 pitcher. Millwood hasn't been lately, and he knows it. He was 0-5 with a 10.05 ERA in his last seven starts coming into this outing. "I knew it was a matter of time, but it was going on longer and longer than I had ever experienced," said Millwood. "Today was a good game to build off. There's room for improvement, but it was nice."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.