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Tigers-Mariners Preview 2009-04-18

Tigers-Mariners Preview 2009-04-18
Erik Bedard wasn't exactly a fan favorite during his injury-plagued first season with the Seattle Mariners last year. He might be doing something, however, to turn that around.

Coming off his best start with the club, Bedard is slated to pitch at Safeco Field for the first time in more than nine months on Saturday night when the surging Mariners continue their three-game set with the Detroit Tigers.

After allowing three runs in five innings at Minnesota on April 7 in his first start since season-ending shoulder surgery in July, Bedard (1-0, 2.03 ERA) came within two outs of recording his second career shutout in a 1-0 win at Oakland on Sunday. He allowed three hits while striking out seven and walking one.

"I can't say enough about Erik Bedard," Mariners first-year manager Don Wakamatsu said. "He came out and pitched like a champion. He's worked hard to get to this point."

Seattle traded five top prospects to Baltimore for Bedard prior to last season, but hip and back problems plagued him early and a shoulder injury ended his season after going 6-4 with a 3.67 ERA in 15 starts.

Though his first season in Seattle was a disappointment, Bedard went 4-2 with a 2.25 ERA in eight starts at Safeco.

In his last start there - and overall in 2008 - Bedard allowed a run and struck out six in five innings of a 4-1 victory over Detroit on July 4. He is 1-1 with a 6.32 ERA in three starts against the Tigers.

The left-hander should have a confident group behind him after the Mariners won 6-3 on Friday. It was Seattle's seventh win in eight games and tied the franchise record for the best 11-game start.

Though it's very early, Seattle (8-3) has the AL's best record after going 61-101 last year.

Adrian Beltre went 2-for-4 with an RBI while Ichiro Suzuki and Jose Lopez each drove in a run for the Mariners, who are 3-1 on their season-opening nine-game homestand.

"It's great to enjoy what you are doing," Beltre said after he ended an 0-for-13 skid. "It's easier when you are winning, and we're winning right now. This team is unbelievably together."

Suzuki is 4-for-13 with five RBIs in three games since making his season debut after being on the disabled list with a bleeding ulcer, but is 1-for-7 against Detroit's scheduled starter Edwin Jackson.

Jackson (0-0, 3.38) has yet to earn a decision after two starts in his first season since being traded from Tampa Bay in December.

After allowing an earned run in 7 1-3 innings of a loss at Toronto in his Detroit debut, Jackson gave up four runs early and five hits overall in six innings of the Tigers' 6-4 win over Texas on Sunday.

"I made the two mistakes and got us in a hole, and then it was a matter of damage control," Jackson said. "I know how good our offense is, so I just wanted to keep it close."

The right-hander has pitched extremely well versus Seattle, going 2-0 with a 0.60 ERA.

Brandon Inge drove in two runs and Miguel Cabrera went 3-for-4 on Friday for Detroit, which is 1-4 on the road. Cabrera is batting .513 (20-for-39) with four homers and 12 RBIs, but is 1-for-6 with four strikeouts against Bedard.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: April 18, 2009

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