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TEX@SEA: Millwood tosses six shutout innings in win

ARLINGTON -- As the Rangers come off a sweep, the Mariners are looking to bounce back from getting swept.

The Rangers scored 34 runs on 43 hits in a three-game sweep of the Blue Jays, hitting nine home runs in the series, after scoring just seven runs in their previous three games against the Mariners. Seattle won two of those games but have since dropped four straight to the Angels and currently sit 10 games behind the Rangers in the AL West.

"We need to do a better job of being more consistent," said Mariners manager Eric Wedge. "It doesn't mean you're accepting of it, but when you're playing this many young kids without a veteran bopper in the middle, that part of it makes it a little bit tougher.

For the second time in a week, Kevin Millwood will pitch against the Rangers and Matt Harrison will pitch against the Mariners.

Millwood has not allowed a run in 17 consecutive innings, six of them in a 5-3 win over the Rangers on Wednesday in his last start. That's the second-longest such streak of his career, behind only a stretch in 1999 when Millwood did not give up a run in 18 straight innings.

"He's a veteran guy," said the Rangers' Ian Kinsler. "He knows how to pitch and he knows how to move the ball in and out. We need to make sure that we come in and make him work like we've been doing to starting pitching."

A day before Millwood beat the Rangers, Harrison picked up a win against the Mariners. In his last outing, Harrison held the Mariners to eight hits and one run over seven innings, striking out six and walking two. Monday will mark the third time in Harrison's career that he faces the same team in two straight starts.

"You would think that you would have to change a lot of stuff, but you really don't," Harrison said. "There's a couple guys I may pitch a little different but, for the most part, I'm going to stick with what I did last time and make adjustments from there."

The only four runs that Harrison has surrendered in his previous two outings all came in the first inning. He gave up three runs in the first during a 5-4 loss to the Athletics on May 17 and one in a 3-1 win over the Mariners on Tuesday.

"I definitely want to start out better this time around in the first inning, not throw as many pitches and eliminate the walks," said Harrison. "Other than that, I feel like I can use how I bounced back after the first and carry it into tomorrow."

Mariners: Ackley crucial part of lineup
• In the Mariners' 21 wins this year, Dustin Ackley is batting .325 (26-for-80) while hitting just .182 (20-for-110) in their 29 losses. Ackley, after suffering through a 2-for-21 (.095) skid, recorded a career-high 13-game hit streak from May 3-17, batting .320 over that stretch. Since then, he's batting just .152 (5-for-33).

Ackley has batted .141 during his career against the Rangers, striking out 22 times and drawing eight walks. He is 0-for-15 all-time against Harrison. That's the most at-bats Ackley has against any Rangers pitcher.

Rangers: Texas opens up big lead in AL West
• The Rangers climbed to 12 games over .500 for the first time all year by completing a sweep of the Blue Jays with a 12-6 win Sunday afternoon, their third series sweep of the year.

Now, the Rangers hold a 6 1/2-game lead in the AL West over the Angels. The Rangers have led the AL West by at least 3 1/2 games every day since a 10-3 win over the Tigers on April 19. Their 30-18 record is the second best through 48 games in team history.

• The Rangers scored seven runs in the second inning of the 12-6 win, the most they have scored in an inning at home this season. The last time they scored that many runs at the Ballpark in Arlington was when they pushed nine runs across in the third inning of Game 3 in last year's ALCS against the Tigers. The Rangers also scored six runs in the first inning of Friday's win over the Blue Jays.

"It was awesome. We showed a bunch of things that we could do in that inning," said David Murphy, who walked and scored in that seven-run rally. "We got back to what our offense was capable of. I think we got worn down over that three-week span without an off-day. It's not excuse but I think after that off day, we came back with a great focus."

Worth noting
• The Rangers sold out their 16th game of the year Sunday, giving them the second-most home sellouts in team history. The Rangers also brought the season attendance past 1 million in their 23rd home game of the season, the quickest they had ever done so.

• Kinsler and Mike Napoli both homered Sunday, snapping a 24-game homerless drought for Napoli and a 27-game drought for Kinsler.

• The Mariners will play their AL-leading 29th road game of the year Monday as they start a nine-game trip. Comments