Kevin Millwood will try to keep his perfect record in San Diego intact this evening when the Seattle Mariners play the first of three straight games against the hosting Padres.
Millwood, who has logged starts with seven teams over his career, is a perfect 4-0 with a 3.30 earned run average in eight career starts in San Diego, striking out 54 over 46 1/3 innings. He is 8-2 with a 3.27 ERA in 17 career encounters with the Padres.
The right-hander pitched six innings of a combined no-hitter versus the Dodgers on June 8, exiting the start early due to a right groin strain. He didn't start again until Saturday versus the Giants and was tagged for four runs -- three earned -- on nine hits and a walk in five innings of a no- decision.
Millwood, 37, is 3-5 with a 3.69 ERA in 13 starts this season.
He'll look to get the Mariners back on track tonight after Jason Vargas was pounded for career highs of 10 runs and five homers in Wednesday's 14-10 defeat to the Diamondbacks. Vargas lasted 4 1/3 innings, getting reached for nine hits and two walks.
"He said he felt good but just wasn't in command of the ball," Seattle manager Eric Wedge said about Vargas. "He was working behind quite a bit and they were squaring them up. It was just one of those days."
Franklin Gutierrez hit a three-run home run and Kyle Seager had a two-run shot in defeat, Seattle's eighth in 11 games.
The Padres have lost five of six, getting swept in three games by the Rangers to begin the week. San Diego was unable to salvage Wednesday's finale, dropping a 4-2 decision.
Starter Anthony Bass hit a two-run single in the second inning and limited the Rangers to a run over five innings, but was forced to exit due to right shoulder inflammation. The Padres' bullpen was unable to hold a 2-1 lead, giving up two runs in the sixth and another in the seventh frame.
"[Bass] said it felt as if something was going on," Padres manager Bud Black said of his starter's injury. "This is the first time something came up mid- game."
Black now turns to 28-year-old Clayton Richard, who is coming off consecutive road victories in which he has given up just one run over 14 2/3 innings.
That stretch began with seven innings of one-run ball at Seattle on June 12, giving Richard a career mark of 3-1 with a 1.97 ERA against the Mariners.
The left-hander then faced the hosting Athletics on Sunday and logged 7 2/3 scoreless frames in a 2-1 win, scattering five hits and two walks while striking out six.
"He mixed in enough sliders, change (and) curveballs to keep them honest. But it was all about the fastball in good spots, throwing strikes and working fast," Black said of Richard's outing.
The wins have pushed Richard's season record to 4-7 with a 3.94 ERA over 14 outings.
The Padres won all three games against the hosting Mariners from June 12-14 and will now look to avenge a sweep by Seattle in the last encounter at San Diego a season ago in which they were outscored 14-2.