Scheduled to make his first start in a month, the Mariners’ ace looks for another strong outing against the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday night at Safeco Field.
Out since June 7 with a sore shoulder, the oft-injured Bedard (5-2, 2.47 ERA) is ready to return after throwing a successful simulated game in Boston over the weekend.
“He is feeling better than he has in a long time,” manager Don Wakamatsu told the Mariners’ official Web site. “All the signs look good.”
Bedard’s first outing comes against the only other team he’s played for, and the one that traded him to Seattle for five players - including All-Star outfielder Adam Jones(notes) and closer George Sherrill(notes) - prior to last season.
The left-hander has made 11 starts this year and won the last three prior to his injury. One of those came against Baltimore on June 2, when he allowed one run and four hits while striking out seven in 6 1-3 innings of an 8-2 home victory.
“He will get a couple of starts before the All-Star break and then have a couple of days off,” said Wakamatsu, who plans to have Bedard on about a 60-pitch limit Tuesday. “Hopefully, he will come back pitching well in the second half.”
Bedard will have a tough time topping the effort of Seattle’s most recent starting pitcher, as Jarrod Washburn(notes) threw the second one-hitter at Safeco Field in a 5-0 win over Baltimore on Monday. Franklin Gutierrez(notes) had three hits and Russell Branyan added his team-leading 21st homer as the Mariners (43-39) won for the fourth time in five games.
“It would have been pretty cool to get a chance to go, but maybe some other year,” said Branyan, who has three homers against Baltimore this season.
Gutierrez is 19 for 38 during a nine-game hitting streak, and 8 for 16 against the Orioles in 2009.
Jones is batting .305, but went 0 for 3 on Monday and is 4 for 25 (.160) against his former team this year.
“Execution was where we wanted it to be. It just wasn’t good enough,” Guthrie told the Orioles’ official Web site.
The right-hander is 2-3 with a 3.63 ERA in six starts versus Seattle. He allowed three earned runs in six innings of a 4-1 loss to the Mariners on June 10.
Seattle has won three in a row over Baltimore and is 5-2 versus the Orioles this season.