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

Kevin Millwood deserved a much better fate during his last five starts, but still, he won't admit it.

The right-hander is 0-3 with five no-decisions in his last eight outings, but posted a 3.70 ERA during that span. Overall, Millwood is 3-7 with a 3.71 ERA this season, but hasn't won a game since May 23. He lost, 3-2, to the Rangers in his last start, giving up a two-run home run to Adrian Beltre in the sixth inning that wound up being the decisive blow.

"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 will look to get back in the win column on Wednesday as the Mariners try to make it three straight against the Royals at Kauffman Stadium. Veteran lefty Bruce Chen will toe the rubber for the Royals.

After allowing just one run for two straight starts in late June and early July, Chen has struggled of late. He has allowed six runs in his last three starts, including a nine-hit, three-walk outing against the White Sox on Friday.

A good sign for Chen, however, is that he has had success against the Mariners in his career, posting a 4-0 record with a 2.73 ERA.

"I don't look at it like, 'Oh what do I have to worry about,' when facing a team. I just look at the things that I have to do," Chen said. "I want to make sure that I mix my pitches, pitch in and out, make sure I get the ball down and throw my pitches for strikes."

While Chen has pitched well against the Mariners in his career, the lefty has struggled against one player in particular -- Ichiro Suzuki. The veteran outfielder is 11-for-26 (.423) in his career against Chen with a double and two walks.

"He's a very good hitter, and the key is to make sure that he puts the ball in play early," Chen said. "The last thing you want to do is get like an eight- or nine-pitch at-bat and then he either gets a walk or a base hit. Getting him out early, that way if he gets a base hit, you only threw two or three pitches."

Mariners: League progressing in new role
After being removed from the closer's role in June, Brandon League didn't stay the same, hoping his good fortunes would simply return on their own.

He made adjustments.

In the time since, League has been working to expand his pitch selection and change up his pattern a bit to keep hitters off-balance. He's throwing a lot more sliders, and it's making his fastball more effective, he said.

In his last 13 appearances, League allowed just one earned run over 11 2/3 innings (0.77 ERA), with 12 hits, four walks and four strikeouts. He has lowered his ERA from 4.18 on June 10 to 3.18.

"I feel like he's done a better job mixing his pitches," manager Eric Wedge said. "His fastball command has been a little better and the velocity has been more consistent, too. He's been mixing in his slider a lot more, which has really been effective for him."

Royals: Sanchez designated for assignment
Left-hander Jonathan Sanchez is out of the Royals' rotation, and he and the Royals now have 10 days to determine his fate.

The Royals called up left-hander Ryan Verdugo from Triple-A Omaha to start Tuesday night's game against the Mariners. Verdugo wasn't sharp, however, as he lasted just 1 2/3 innings, giving up six runs on eight hits and two walks.

In his last four starts, Sanchez allowed 23 runs in 17 innings. It all culminated with a 1 1/3-inning performance on Monday, when he surrendered seven runs on seven hits and a walk.

"We still believe in him," general manager Dayton Moore said. "He's a terrific citizen who works extremely hard. I'd love to have him in Omaha if he so desired and try to work through some things."

Worth noting
• The Mariners lead the Majors with 238 runs scored on the road, but are last with 126 runs scored at home.

• Wednesday's game will be the third of eight meetings between the Royals and Mariners this season, with the Mariners having won both games so far this year. The Royals won last year's season series, 5-3.

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