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LAD@SEA: Millwood talks about combined no-no, injury

Maybe pitching in his home state will turn Tim Lincecum's season around.

Lincecum, sporting a 2-7 record and 6.00 ERA in 2012, will start for the Giants against the Mariners at Safeco Field on Saturday. He hasn't pitched in Washington, where he was born 28 years ago Friday, since being drafted by the Giants in 2006.

Born in Bellevue, Lincecum graduated from Liberty High School in nearby Renton and pitched at the University of Washington.

"I'm going to take it in for what it's worth but also try to be focused on the task at hand, which is winning," Lincecum said Thursday. "[I won't] take it for granted just because I get to have family or friends around. I want to focus on the game, getting a win and remedying whatever's been going on right now."

Lincecum's last start was fairly symbolic of the struggles he's had all season. He gave up nine hits and five runs in 5 2/3 innings, walking four and striking out five.

Kevin Millwood will pitch for the Mariners in his first start since the Mariners' combined no-hitter on June 8. He left that game with a slight groin strain after six innings. Five relievers finished the no-hitter.

Millwood had this start pushed back two days, but he felt good in a bullpen session Thursday.

"We felt like he's been good all along, but you're not sure until you actually get up on the mound and throw and we had him work out on the field, too," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. "He's good to go and that's good for us."

In his 15th Major League season and first with the Mariners, Millwood is 3-5 with a 3.57 ERA. He has a 1.46 ERA over his last 37 innings, a span of six starts. Wedge, who also managed Millwood in Cleveland, expected Millwood to have a positive impact on the Mariners.

"We brought him in because we thought he could perform and that's what he's done," Wedge said. "But we also knew there was another part to that, which are the intangibles, which he's also provided as well. The influence he's had on the pitchers, as well as the position players, is real and that's something these guys will carry with them."

Mariners: Saunders OK with left field
Fresh off the disabled list, Franklin Gutierrez figures to see most of the time in center field going forward. That means Michael Saunders, who has played center field for most of the season, will move to left field.

That doesn't bother Saunders much.

"It doesn't matter to me where I hit in the lineup or where I play; I just want to be out there. If I can help the team by moving over to left and Guti is now back in center, then that's good. He deserves it. He's a Gold Glove center fielder, he's one of the best in the game, so I think it's best for the team."

Saunders made his second start of the season in left field Friday.

Giants: Huff to disabled list
The Giants placed Aubrey Huff on the 15-day disabled list Friday with a sprained right knee. To fill his spot, the Giants purchased Justin Christian's contract from Triple-A Fresno.

Huff would've seen a lot of time at designated hitter in the Giants' nine-game road stretch against American League clubs. Manager Bruce Bochy said Huff had been preparing for the role.

Bochy also said that Huff should be able to be reinstated from the disabled list June 28.

As the designated hitter, Christian went 0-for-3 on Friday against the Mariners.

Worth noting
• The Mariners are now 4-6 in Interleague Play. They have been over .500 in Interleague Play in each of the last 12 seasons. The only team with a longer active streak is the Yankees (14).

• Ichiro Suzuki is two hits away from 2,500 for his career. If he can get two hits in his next 10 games, he will have 2,500 hits in the fourth-fewest games ever.

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