"My curveball was a lot better than it had been. That's a big pitch for me," Millwood said of his last start. "If I can throw it for strikes early in the count and try to bury it late in the count to get strikeouts, that's probably the biggest thing for me.
"A lot of confidence comes from pitching a game like that, to be able to get out of a big inning and go on and pitch deep and help us win a ballgame."
Millwood's return to Denver comes after he spent the end of the 2011 season with the Rockies. In nine games from Aug. 10 to Sept. 25 last year, Millwood compiled a 4-3 record and a 3.98 ERA.
Millwood's counterpart Friday will also be a pitcher who hasn't spent a lot of time with the Rockies. Alex White is making his 10th start with Colorado, and just his third of the season. At 0-2, White is still looking for his first win of the season at the Major League level after starting the year at Triple-A Colorado Springs.
"Unfortunately, we couldn't do enough offensively to win the game, because this is as good as I've seen Alex White since we acquired him," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said after White's first start, on May 8. "He was really, really good."
Mariners: Carp giving shoulder a rest
Mike Carp started Thursday's game at designated hitter, a day after being scratched from the lineup due to soreness in his right shoulder. Carp said it was mainly precautionary after playing 12 games since coming off the disabled list with a sprained right shoulder, and he hoped to be back in the field on Friday. Alex Liddi received his first start in left field in Carp's absence.
Lucas Luetge set a Mariners record on Thursday by not allowing an earned run in his 15th straight appearance to begin his Major League career. The left-hander was tied with Rod Scurry.
Rockies: Veterans bring past success against Millwood
Seven Rockies have combined for a .311 career average off of Millwood, and most of the success has come from Colorado's veterans. In 19 career at-bats against the right-hander, Jason Giambi has eight hits, three home runs and five RBIs, while Michael Cuddyer has four doubles in 28 at-bats and a .429 average. Additionally, Todd Helton has a .324 average, with two home runs and six RBIs lifetime against Millwood.
Longtime Mariners pitcher, Jamie Moyer, will not pitch against his former team after starting Wednesday's contest. Moyer spent parts of 11 seasons with the Mariners.