Millwood suffers another road defeat

Millwood suffers another road loss

SEATTLE -- Kevin Millwood has had some tough luck on his way to what is now a club-record 10-game road losing streak.

This was definitely not one of those games, even if his teammates managed just one hit over the first six innings against Mariners starter Jarrod Washburn.

The Mariners scored seven runs off Millwood in just three innings and went on to beat the Rangers, 7-3, on a cool Monday night at Safeco Field. The outing was Millwood's shortest of the season and his fifth shortest in 73 career starts for the Rangers.

"I just didn't pitch good," Millwood said. "I had a bad outing. I just have to figure out why and come back the next time."

He has also now gone 13 starts and 10 decisions since his last victory on the road against the Reds at Great American Ball Park on June 17, 2007. The 10-game road losing streak is the longest in club history, passing up reliever Don Stanhouse and starter Jamie Moyer. Millwood has three no-decisions during the streak, but the Rangers lost all three of those games.

Millwood has a 4.62 ERA during the losing streak (3.93 before Monday's start) and eight of the 13 outings have been quality starts. This one was the reverse. This was the second shortest outing and the most runs he has given up during the streak. He allowed six runs in 2 2/3 innings in a start against the Royals on July 28 and six runs in 4 2/3 innings against the Athletics on Sept. 13.

"He just didn't have it," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "It just wasn't one of his better outings. As often as those pitchers take the ball, sometimes that happens to you. You just move on."

Millwood was in trouble right from the beginning. Ichiro Suzuki led off the bottom of the first with a double, Jose Lopez singled him to third and Raul Ibanez doubled to deep left-center to drive them both home.

Millwood was able to keep another run from coming across in the first inning, but one-out singles by Kenji Johjima and Wladimir Balentien and a two-out single by Lopez made it 3-0 in the second.

The Mariners added four more in the third when Richie Sexson hit a solo home run with one out and Balentien broke the game open with a three-run home run with two outs. That gave the Mariners a 7-0 lead and Millwood didn't return for the fourth.

"I just didn't have an easy inning," Millwood said. "If you miss over the plate all the time, that's going to happen. Every time I missed, I missed over the plate instead of off the plate. A big league team is going to take advantage of that."

Josh Rupe came in for the first time since April 22 and pitched four scoreless innings, allowing just one hit while striking out three.

"That was outstanding," Washington said.

The problem was the Rangers couldn't mount anything against Washburn for the first six innings. German Duran's two-out single in the third was their only hit in that stretch.

The Rangers finally broke through in the seventh when Washburn's right calf muscle starting tightening up. Gerald Laird's infield single and doubles by Michael Young and Milton Bradley made it 7-2, and Washburn was replaced by Sean Green. The Rangers were able to get Bradley home on a couple of ground balls by David Murphy and Brandon Boggs but that was as close as they got.

The Rangers are now 1-6 when the opposition starts a left-hander. In four of those six games they were leading when the opposing starter left the game. This time Washburn dominated them.

"The way he threw the ball tonight, he would have beaten any team," Washington said. "He didn't make many mistakes, that's for sure. It wasn't just my team. He was good."

The Rangers face another left-hander on Wednesday when Erik Bedard pitches for the Mariners. Millwood, however, doesn't have to worry about pitching on the road for a while. His next two starts are scheduled to be at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

His next road start probably won't be until a four-game series against the Twins at the Metrodome. He has never won at the Metrodome in five career starts.

"I just want to pitch good," Millwood said. "Today wasn't good."

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.