MESA, Ariz. (AP) - Kevin Millwood is still confident he can get the job done.
The veteran right-hander is a non-roster invitee with the Seattle Mariners this spring after losing 16 games while pitching for Baltimore two years ago and having to split time between three organizations in 2011.
So he understands why he is fighting his way on to a roster.
Despite pitching in the minors with the New York Yankees and Boston before getting a shot with Colorado at the end of last season, he never lost confidence in his ability, even at age 37.
Millwood made his first start of the spring Thursday in the Mariners' 10-3 win over the Cubs.
It was a solid performance for Millwood - three innings, four hits, one earned run on Alfonso Soriano's homer and three strikeouts.
``I don't have anything to prove to myself,' said Millwood, who went 4-3 with a 3.98 ERA in nine starts for Colorado after signing August 10.
``I feel like I can still get people out. It's proving it to the people I have to prove it to. Obviously, the velocity is not where it was in 98, but it's plenty enough to get big league hitters out.'
Mariners manager Eric Wedge said it was a good day for the veteran after his first outing, which came in relief, led to three earned runs in two innings.
``He has been progressing pretty consistently,' Wedge said. ``I felt like he threw ball good. The third innings was his best with a lot of action on the ball. I like his breaking ball. I always have.'
Cubs right-hander Chris Volstad made his first appearance for his new club after being acquired from Miami in the Carlos Zambrano trade.
The 6-foot-8 right-hander allowed one hit in three innings with three strikeouts.
``I was attacking the zone with fastballs and building off that,' he said. ``It's been awhile since I've been on the mound. It felt like forever, but I ready to go and I was happy to be out there.'
Volstad, who went 32-39 with the Marlins, is fighting for one of the rotation spots behind Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza. He has been working well with new pitching coach Chris Bosio.
``(The work so far has) not been on an individual pitch or working on anything new, but how to be successful with what I already have,' Volstad said. ``It's the mental approach, getting inside your head and thinking about hitter's approach in situations.'
The Mariners grabbed the early lead when they scored four earned runs off Cubs closer Carlos Marmol in the fourth inning, including second baseman Dustin Ackley's three-run home run.
Marmol wasn't worried about the outing that lasted two-thirds of an inning as the right-hander was just working on his fastball.
After leading the National League with 10 blown saves, he said he is preparing to return to his 2010 form when he had 38 saves in 43 chances.
``I am working on locating my fastball,' he said. ``I am working hard for that (2010 level of success). I'm trying to be consistent with my slider and fastball so every time I go out there everyone believes in me. ``
Ackley has had a great start to the spring, hitting .455 (5 for 11) with two doubles, a triple and a home run.
``He learned a lot last year and pushed himself hard,' Wedge said. ``He is someone who is still learning and preparing for his first full year in the big leagues. He is a heck of a player and he is going to just keep getting better.'
The Associated Press News Service
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