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American League Preview from The Sports Network



Tuesday, April 9th (All times Eastern)

Houston Astros (1-6) at Seattle Mariners (4-4), 10:10 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Houston - Erik Bedard (0-1, 1.59) Seattle - Brandon Maurer (0-1, 9.00)

(Sports Network) - Erik Bedard makes his first start for the Houston Astros on Tuesday, as they continue a three-game series with the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field.

Bedard earned the first save of his career in the Astros' Opening Day win over Texas, allowing just one hit over 3 1/3 scoreless innings. Bedard hasn't pitched since then, though, since the Astros haven't needed a fifth starter until now.

"I got lucky," said Bedard. "I don't think I'll do any more of that. I'll probably just stick with starting."

Bedard, of course, spent four seasons with the Mariners, missing all of the 2010 campaign with an injury. He is 1-3 against his former team with a 5.46 ERA in five starts.

"It will be fun," Bedard said. "I was here for a couple of years and had fun. They are good fans, good people and good teammates. I still have good friends on the team, and it will be fun."

Seattle will counter with righty Brandon Maurer, who was roughed up in his major league debut on Thursday in Oakland. Maurer absorbed the loss in that one, as the Athletics reached him for six runs and eight hits in six innings.

"I got the nerves out a little bit and definitely learned," Maurer said. "So I'm looking forward to going out there this time and building off my last start. I learned more about me than basically anything else. I need to go out there and have focus for every pitch. You can't take any pitches off and definitely want to be able to execute pitches."

Seattle won its home opener on Monday, as Joe Saunders struck out five over 6 1/3 scoreless innings to help the Mariners to a 3-0 triumph.

Saunders (1-1) scattered six hits and walked just one to improve to 7-0 with a 1.91 earned run average in 10 career starts at Safeco Field. Carter Capps and Charlie Furbush combined for 1 2/3 scoreless frames in relief, while Tom Wilhelmsen spun a perfect ninth to notch his third save of the season.

"Joe did great," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said of his starter. "I was glad to have a veteran guy out there in this kind of setting. Your home opener is always a big one."

Kendrys Morales finished 2-for-3 with two RBI, while Michael Saunders collected two hits and two runs scored for the M's, who won for only the second time in their last six tries.

Matt Dominguez had two of Houston's seven hits, while Philip Humber (0-2) was tagged for three runs on five hits over six frames for the Astros, who have lost six straight since their season-opening win over Texas.

"I know for sure we are a much better offensive club than which we've displayed here early on in the year and we have complete confidence that these guys will hit," Astros manager Bo Porter said. "When it happens, we're going to see some crooked numbers going on here."

This is Houston's first visit to Seattle since 2004.

04/09 10:46:30 ET