Millwood searching for success in Mariners/Royals matchup

Kevin Millwood goes after his first win in almost two months tonight when the Seattle Mariners continue a four-game set with the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium.

Millwood is winless in his last eight starts (0-3) and hasn't won since beating the Texas Rangers back on May 23. He lost his first start after the All-Star break on Friday to the Rangers, allowing three runs and eight hits in 6 2/3 innings to fall to 3-7 on the year with a 3.71 ERA.

"I felt like I threw OK. It wasn't great," Millwood said. "I didn't locate the ball as well as I wanted, but for the most part was able to get outs when I needed them. It definitely felt like it could have been better. It just didn't happen."

Millwood has faced the Royals 15 times and is 6-5 against them with a 4.39 ERA.

Kansas City will counter with a veteran of its own in lefty Bruce Chen, who is 7-8 with a 5.50 ERA. After allowing just one run for two straight starts in late June and early July, Chen has struggled of late, surrendering six runs in each of his last three outings.

Chen did not get a decision against the Chicago White Sox on Friday, despite giving up six runs in just 4 2/3 innings. He also allowed nine hits for the second straight start and issued three walks.

The 35-year-old Panamanian could get himself back on track tonight, as he is a perfect 4-0 lifetime versus the Mariners with a 2.73 ERA in 11 games (7 starts).

Seattle has won the first two games of this series and on Tuesday, Justin Smoak and Michael Saunders each hit a two-run home run to pace the Mariners to a 9-6 victory.

Recalled from Triple-A Tacoma, Blake Beavan (4-6) did enough to snag the win, allowing seven hits and five runs over six-plus innings.

Lorenzo Cain hit a two-run shot and Alex Gordon totaled two hits with an RBI for the Royals, who have dropped seven of eight.

Ryan Verdugo's (0-1) big league debut lasted 1 2/3 innings, during which he surrendered eight hits and six runs.

"We found ourselves in a hole early and we found a way to get their bats going," said Royals manager Ned Yost. "Ryan came in and got two outs and it caved in on him from that point."

Kansas City took five of eight from the Mariners last season.